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Rays vs Blue Jays Preview: Can the Rays defeat a left-handed pitcher?

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Matt Andriese takes on Francisco Liriano as the Rays take on the Blue Jays

MLB: Spring Training-Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays are back at it again tonight as they’ll take on the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field for the second game of this four game set. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 with Fox Sports Sun and WDAE covering the game.

Starting Pitchers

Matt Andriese vs Francisco Liriano

Fresh of a successful 2016 in which Matt Andriese established he was a major league quality pitcher, he was able to secure the final spot in the Rays rotation out of spring training. Last year over 29 games (19 starts), Andriese had a 4.37 ERA and a 3.78 FIP, to go along with a 20.7 K% and 4.7 BB% in just under 128 innings pitched.

Francisco Liriano Scouting Report

Liriano is looking for a bounce back year after struggling with the Blue Jays and Pirates last season, in which he suffered from the homerun boon as he allowed a new career high of 26. Overall, he had an ERA of 4.69 to go along with a 4.89 FIP, 23.0 K%, and 11.6 BB% over 31 games — 29 starts — and 163 innings pitched.

His Arsenal

He’ll come at opposing pitchers with four different pitches: A fastball and sinker in the low 90’s, then a change-up and slider in the mid to high 80’s.

He relies on his slider and sinker combo mainly against left-handed batters, occasionally mixing in his fastball (just 6% of the time), while he never uses his change-up.

However, against right-handed batters Liriano’s change comes in play a lot more often as he uses it close to a quarter of the time, the same can be said for his slider. He’ll usually go to his sinker against righties.

Liriano lives in the bottom of the zone, but when he does elevate, it’s away running inside to right handed hitters.

His Splits

  • vs LHB - .239/.337/.401 - .326 wOBA - 5 HR - 22.7 K% - 9.2 BB% - 163 PA
  • vs RHB - .249/.349/.434 - .339 wOBA - 21 HR - 23.1K% - 12.3 BB% - 568 PA
  • HOME - .228..326/.381 - .310 wOBA - 10 HR - 23.9 K% - 11.3 BB% - 390 PA
  • AWAY - .268/.371/.479 - .366 wOBA - 16 HR - 22.0 K% - 12.0 BB% - 341 PA

Times Through the Order

  • 1st - .207/.298/.323 - .277 wOBA - 6 HR - 26.1 K% - 10.3 BB% - 261 PA
  • 2nd - .236/.335/.392 - .319 wOBA - 8 HR - 22.6 K% - 11.1 BB% - 261 PA
  • 3rd - .319/.435/.611 - .438 wOBA - 11 HR - 19.2 K% - 15.0 BB% - 193 PA

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

TORONTO BLUE JAYS TAMPA BAY RAYS
Devon Travis - 2B Steven Souza - RF
Josh Donaldson - 3B Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Jose Bautista - RF Evan Longoria - 3B
Kendrys Morales - DH Rickie Weeks - 1B
Troy Tulowitzki - SS Derek Norris - C
Justin Smoak - 1B Brad Miller - 2B
Ezequiel Carrera - LF Tim Beckham - SS
Jarrod Saltalamacchia - C Daniel Robertson - DH
Kevin Pillar - CF Peter Bourjos - LF
Francisco Liriano - LHP Matt Andriese - RHP