The Tampa Bay Rays return to Florida after a disappointing road trip. The Miami Marlins come into the series picking up a win after four straight losses. The split series will have both teams host two games.
The series starts in Miami and will see the Rays abide by National League rules. For those who enjoy seeing pitchers attempt to hit it is something that only has to be seen a handful of times a year by fans of American League teams.
Jake Odorizzi returns from the disabled list to pick up the start in game one. Colby Rasmus is scheduled to return either Tuesday or Wednesday. The Rays were fortunate to avoid having to place Steven Souza, Jr. on the disabled list after being hit on the hand in Saturday’s game. However, he wasn’t able to pinch hit yesterday.
Monday 7:10 PM: Jake Odorizzi vs Wei-Yin Chen
Tuesday 7:10 PM: Alex Cobb vs Edinson Volquez
Wednesday 7:10 PM: Adam Conley vs Blake Snell
Thursday 7:10 PM: Dan Straily vs Matt Andriese
Marlins pitching just not the same.
The Marlins pitching just isn’t what it was a year ago. With the untimely passing of Jose Fernandez last September the rotation has taken a step back. They have a couple veterans, but Fernandez starts were a reason to turn on the Marlins games.
The Rays have history with Wei-Yin Chen mostly from his Baltimore Orioles days. The left handed pitcher relies on control to limit damage. He’s only managed 21.0 innings in four starts this year. He has a 4.71 ERA and 4.50 FIP. His strikeouts have plummeted almost five percent this year. Last year the Rays roughed up Chen for five runs in 5.2 innings that included two homers.
Edinson Volquez is a veteran that spent the last couple season with the Kansas City Royals. The right hander has thrown 24.2 innings of 4.44 ERA and 4.46 FIP baseball through five starts. Last season the Rays put up an offensive explosion in his lone start against them. He was tagged for eight runs, seven earned, in five innings allowing eleven hits including two homers.
Adam Conley is a young left handed pitcher that has put up solid results in the majors. This year has gotten off to a rough start as he owns a 6.86 ERA and 5.06 FIP through 19.2 innings. He has made four starts and one relief appearance. His walk rate has ballooned to over 11 percent after posting a 10.6% walk rate last year. Conley has made one start against the Rays in 2015. He went six strong innings allowing two runs while striking out five and walking two.
Dan Straily was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds in a trade this past winter for prospects. The right handed pitcher has a 4.15 ERA and 3.79 FIP through 26.0 innings while making five starts. So far his strikeout rate has spiked to 27.4% despite never posting a rate higher than 20.5% in his career. He’s also walking more batters than he ever has with a 11.3% walk rate. Despite spending parts of three seasons with the Oakland Athletics he has never made an appearance against the Rays.
Marlins Starters vs RHB Last 3+ Years
|Wei-Yin Chen||403.0||18.9 %||5.2 %||0.265||0.308||0.475||0.336|
|Edinson Volquez||310.1||17.3 %||7.6 %||0.256||0.328||0.374||0.310|
|Adam Conley||174.0||22.4 %||9.8 %||0.237||0.326||0.406||0.316|
|Dan Straily||150.2||22.4 %||6.5 %||0.240||0.302||0.460||0.325|
Wei-Yin Chen limits damage by limiting walks. Right handed bats hit for a lot of power by putting up a .210 ISO.
Edinson Volquez limits the extra base hits by only allowing a .118 ISO against right handed batters.
Adam Conley walks enough batters to inflate the OBP despite a low batting average allowed. He also allows a .169 ISO which is a little above average.
Dan Straily limits walks which helps since the right handed bats put up a .220 ISO against him. Moving away from the Great American Smallpark to Marlins Field should help him tremendously.
Marlins Starters vs LHB Last 3+ Years
|Wei-Yin Chen||118.1||17.1 %||3.7 %||0.255||0.290||0.357||0.284|
|Edinson Volquez||296.1||17.5 %||10.2 %||0.252||0.336||0.415||0.327|
|Adam Conley||46.0||15.2 %||9.8 %||0.279||0.371||0.391||0.335|
|Dan Straily||135.1||19.3 %||13.2 %||0.205||0.319||0.372||0.308|
Please get well soon Steven Souza, Jr. (recovering from HBP to left hand).
Having additional left handed bats forced in the lineup against Wei-Yin Chen this evening could lead to a long night for the Rays bats. Chen doesn’t walk very many left handed bats and he allows so little damage with a .102 ISO. That’s a pretty good recipe for success.
Left handed bats should have plenty of opportunities against Edinson Volquez. He’ll walk more than his fair share. The left handed bats don’t traditionally do a lot of damage with extra base hits.
Adam Conley has had much more success against right handed bats than left handed bats despite being left handed. He doesn’t strike very many out. He walks a bunch. He’s fortunate that he hasn’t allowed a lot of extra bases or the numbers would look much worse.
The Marlins spent big on improving the bullpen this winter to cover their starters.
The Marlins chased the top tier of relievers this off season, but were unsuccessful in their pursuit. They ended up adding Brad Ziegler to compliment their high octane relievers A.J. Ramos and Kyle Barraclough.
Ziegler doesn’t get strikeouts that you normally see out of high leverage relievers, but due to an odd release points he induces a ton of ground balls. This year has been no exception. He has posted a 75.8% ground ball rate. He has a 0.71 ERA and 2.86 FIP.
A.J. Ramos has maintained the closer role despite Enny Romero like walk rates. Last year he walked 12.6% of batters faced, but that has spiked to 15.4% over nine innings this year. He has maintained his mid twenty percent strikeout rate. He has a 4.00 ERA and 4.24 FIP.
Last year Kyle Barraclough picked up strikeouts in bunches with a 36.9% strikeout rate. This year that has fallen to 23.5%. He has improved his walk rate to 13.7% which would be the best rate of his career. Despite the walk rate and fall in strikeouts he’s allowed a 1.54 ERA and 3.88 FIP.
The Marlins bullpen has been worked heavily. They have thrown the third most innings so far this season at 94.0 innings. That is eight more innings than Rays relievers have thrown despite the Marlins playing three fewer games. In the last three days the relievers have thrown 15 innings.
Marlins Relievers vs RHB Last 3+ Years
|Kyle Barraclough||56.1||39.9 %||12.7 %||0.162||0.272||0.254||0.238|
|A.J. Ramos||110.0||29.5 %||11.2 %||0.188||0.291||0.274||0.257|
|Brad Ziegler||125.1||21.3 %||6.3 %||0.238||0.294||0.313||0.269|
|Dustin McGowan||107.1||22.4 %||9.9 %||0.211||0.294||0.347||0.287|
|David Phelps||171.2||21.4 %||6.5 %||0.251||0.308||0.374||0.300|
|Junichi Tazawa||97.2||24.9 %||6.3 %||0.257||0.308||0.431||0.319|
|Jose Urena||81.2||17.4 %||7.3 %||0.281||0.349||0.435||0.338|
|Jarlin Garcia||3.0||38.5 %||15.4 %||0.182||0.308||0.545||0.359|
Kyle Barraclough is incredibly tough on right handed bats. With a strikeout rate nearing 40% you have to take advantage of the runners he’ll allow with a high walk rate.
A.J. Ramos and Brad Ziegler are two very good relievers against right handed bats. When it gets late in the game things don’t get easier against the Marlins.
Marlins Relievers vs LHB Last 3+ Years
|Jarlin Garcia||2.0||33.3 %||0.0 %||0.000||0.000||0.000||0.000|
|A.J. Ramos||97.1||26.7 %||14.4 %||0.188||0.317||0.267||0.267|
|Brad Ziegler||90.1||13.0 %||10.4 %||0.213||0.305||0.323||0.268|
|Kyle Barraclough||52.1||28.2 %||17.6 %||0.177||0.329||0.239||0.269|
|Junichi Tazawa||82.1||22.4 %||6.8 %||0.244||0.296||0.392||0.299|
|David Phelps||154.0||21.2 %||11.2 %||0.245||0.339||0.396||0.321|
|Jose Urena||76.0||8.8 %||8.5 %||0.286||0.357||0.484||0.353|
|Dustin McGowan||78.0||16.3 %||13.5 %||0.270||0.375||0.489||0.367|
Jarlin Garcia doesn’t have much experience but he is the lone left handed pitcher in the Marlins bullpen. He’s one of their top pitching prospects.
A.J. Ramos, Kyle Barraclough, and Brad Ziegler all have great success against left handed batters. Ramos and Barraclough allow a lot of walks and can give you opportunities to come back.
The Marlins offense has put runs on the board despite lack luster overall numbers.
The Marlins have scored 103 runs which places them 16th in the majors. They are only hitting .260/.312/.398 and have put up a 88 wRC+. They have the worst walk rate in the majors at 6.5%. They have the seventh worst ISO at .138.
Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and J.T. Realmuto have carried the offense. They all have posted wRC+ between 125 and 132. No other player with more than 50 plate appearances has a wRC+ above 100.
Marlins Batters vs RHP Last 3+ Years
|Giancarlo Stanton||1211||12.0 %||29.7 %||0.255||0.348||0.510||0.364||132|
|Christian Yelich||1463||10.9 %||19.5 %||0.292||0.372||0.448||0.356||126|
|Derek Dietrich||780||8.5 %||19.9 %||0.270||0.366||0.448||0.355||125|
|Justin Bour||814||10.0 %||19.2 %||0.267||0.339||0.488||0.350||121|
|J.T. Realmuto||912||4.5 %||15.5 %||0.293||0.327||0.419||0.322||101|
|Marcell Ozuna||1452||6.7 %||23.0 %||0.261||0.313||0.422||0.319||101|
|Dee Gordon||1338||4.6 %||15.8 %||0.300||0.333||0.383||0.313||99|
|Martin Prado||1420||5.2 %||13.5 %||0.270||0.313||0.375||0.302||88|
|Miguel Rojas||448||6.7 %||13.6 %||0.261||0.314||0.326||0.281||75|
|Ichiro Suzuki||967||6.2 %||13.3 %||0.253||0.300||0.309||0.271||68|
|Adeiny Hechavarria||1330||4.5 %||14.1 %||0.258||0.292||0.335||0.271||68|
|A.J. Ellis||528||12.1 %||17.4 %||0.198||0.306||0.270||0.263||66|
Giancarlo Stanton’s powerful right handed bat is joined by three left handed bats as the biggest threats against right handed pitchers.
The lineup adds depth with J.T. Realmuto, Marcell Ozuna, and speedster Dee Gordon.
Marlins Batters vs LHP Last 3+ Years
|Giancarlo Stanton||315||14.3 %||22.9 %||0.312||0.410||0.673||0.446||187|
|Martin Prado||404||9.9 %||7.7 %||0.373||0.433||0.535||0.412||163|
|Marcell Ozuna||360||6.9 %||22.5 %||0.290||0.339||0.505||0.360||128|
|Ichiro Suzuki||249||9.2 %||16.1 %||0.303||0.370||0.403||0.340||115|
|A.J. Ellis||258||16.3 %||16.3 %||0.230||0.358||0.371||0.328||111|
|Christian Yelich||486||7.2 %||22.2 %||0.298||0.348||0.394||0.327||106|
|Adeiny Hechavarria||336||6.8 %||15.8 %||0.288||0.336||0.391||0.319||101|
|Dee Gordon||413||3.6 %||14.0 %||0.304||0.334||0.384||0.316||101|
|J.T. Realmuto||211||5.2 %||20.9 %||0.253||0.299||0.424||0.308||93|
|Derek Dietrich||158||3.8 %||27.2 %||0.203||0.293||0.275||0.262||60|
|Justin Bour||127||7.1 %||32.3 %||0.222||0.283||0.291||0.258||59|
|Miguel Rojas||139||5.0 %||11.5 %||0.169||0.212||0.246||0.204||24|
The numbers that Giancarlo Stanton has put up against left handed pitchers probably causes nightmares to Blake Snell. He has put up a .361 ISO! That is just nuts. Snell needs to be careful and is probably best just walking him whenever possible.
Martin Prado has been great against left handed pitchers over the last three years. The microscopic 7.7% strikeout rate allows him to post a massive .373 batting average. A high BABIP doesn’t hurt, but most of the damage is earned.
Marcell Ozuna hits for a lot of power and good average against left handed pitchers.
The lineup is quite deep against lefties. Blake Snell will have to be careful with a few of the big bats, but should be able to see at least a couple of lefties in the lineup.
The Rays look to start May off with a hot start
The month of April didn’t end as the Rays would have liked. They ended up one win short of going .500 for the month. The Rays have some guys scheduled to return from the disabled list and should get healthier throughout the next month.
The Rays only have one off day all month. They will need a strong start to the month to keep from wearing down towards the end of the month. June will allow the Rays to pick up a few more days of rest.