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Rays vs Angels Preview: Rays look to even the series

The Rays and Angels are back at it tonight at 7pm

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

The Rays struggles to hold leads continued yesterday as they led 2-1 in the sixth inning, but failed to hold on as the Angels scored two unanswered runs in the 6th and 7th and eventually took a 3-2 victory in the series opener.

The loss dropped the Rays back under .500 at 23-24 while the Angels are now a game over .500 at 24-23.

Starting Pitchers

Alex Cobb

Perhaps not having his split-change to rely on has become a blessing in disguise for Alex Cobb as he has proven he can still carve through opposing lineups with well placed fastballs and curveballs. He was allowed to work seven innings his last time out despite being over the 100 pitch mark in the sixth inning and allowed three runs on six hits, while he walked one and struck out seven.

Matt Shoemaker

His command has been an issue thus far in 2017, allowing close to four free passes per nine innings pitched. However, when keeps in command, he has been a solid pitcher for the Angels. His last time out was on the 17th against the White Sox where he allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits — including a homer -- while he walked one and struck out nine before leaving with one out in the 7th inning.

Shoemaker can carve through opposing righties, but his command can get him in trouble as he is walking RHB over 11% of the time compared a 6% walk rate to LHB. So far 2017 has been opposite of his usual numbers as he tended to be a reverse split guy in previous years.

Shoemaker basically throws an equal four pitch mix (fastball, sinker, slider, and spitter) ranging from mid 80’s to the low 90’s.

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

Cameron Maybin - LF Corey Dickerson - DH
Mike Trout - CF Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Albert Pujols - DH Evan Longoria - 3B
Luis Valbuena - 1B Logan Morrison - 1B
Andrelton Simmons - SS Tim Beckham - SS
Kole Calhoun - RF Colby Rasmus - LF
Martin Maldonado - C Steven Souza - RF
Danny Espinosa - 2B Derek Norris - C
Cliff Pennington - 3B Daniel Robertson - 2B
Matt Shoemaker - RHP Alex Cobb - RHP