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Rays vs Royals Preview: I’ll take my eggs Odorizzi, please

Jake Odorizzi takes the mound as the Rays go for the series split

This afternoon, Jake Odorizzi and the Rays look to conclude a four-game set with a win against the Royals before heading to Boston for a weekend series.

The Royals won the first two games of the series with the Rays taking game #3 yesterday. In the opener, pitching and a steady dose of offense led the Royals to a 7-3 win. In game #2, the Rays struggles continued against the league’s worst record falling 7-6 in 12 innings. In game #3, Chris Archer dazzled throwing eight innings of shutout ball to headline a 12-1 blowout victory.

Today’s game will be televised on Fox Sports Sun. First pitch is slated for 1:10 PM ET.

Starting Pitchers

Jake Odorizzi

The right-hander (2-1) is coming off of a very sharp outing against Toronto on Saturday, allowing one run and three hits while striking out six across seven innings to earn the win against the Blue Jays.

Odorizzi has gotten off to a great start in 2017 despite spending two weeks on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, registering a 2.88 ERA with 20 strikeouts and four walks in 25 innings through five starts.

He's gone four straight starts without allowing more than a single earned run.

Odorizzi has excelled vs. RHB’s, holding hitters to the tune of .107/.138/.286 from the right side of the plate. He’s struggled more against lefties, posting a .281/.333/.625 slash-line from the left side of the plate.

Jason Vargas

As JT noted in our series preview:

Jason Vargas has been dominant in his first full season back from the Tommy John Surgery he had in July 2015. In six starts he has thrown 37.2 innings of 1.19 ERA and 2.12 FIP baseball. He striking out batters at a career best rate, 23.8%, and limiting walks to 4.8% of batters faced. He’s allowing a 2.8% HR/FB rate. Vargas is third in MLB in fWAR behind Chris Sale and James Paxton.

Vargas (4-1) came away with a no-decision despite tossing six innings of shutout baseball against the Indians on Saturday.

The southpaw has posted reverse splits so far in 2017. He’s faired extremely well vs. RHB’s this season (.211/.262/.263), and alright vs. LHB’s as well (.250/.250/.250).

In ten career starts against Tampa Bay, Vargas is 4-5 with a 3.11 ERA.


In 2017, Vargas has relied primarily on his fourseam fastball (87mph) and changeup (81mph), while also mixing in a curveball (74mph) and sinker (87mph).

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

Alcides Escobar - SS Tim Beckham - SS
Mike Moustakas - DH Corey Dickerson - LF
Eric Hosmer - 1B Evan Longoria - 3B
Salvador Perez - C Logan Morrison - 1B
Jorge Bonifacio - LF Rickie Weeks - DH
Whit Merrifield - 2B Daniel Robertson - 2B
Jorge Soler - RF Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Alex Gordon - CF Derek Norris - C
Cheslor Cuthbert - 3B Peter Bourjos - RF
Jason Vargas - LHP Jake Odorizzi - RHP