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Game Preview: Rays bring ace to a Austin Bibens-Dirkx fight

Chris Archer squares off against a journeyman making his first start in the majors.

Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Austin Bibens-Dirkx is a real name for a real baseball player. The aged looking right handed hopes to make his Rangers (26-27) a .500 club while the Rays (28-27) hope to stay above the mark behind ace Chris Archer.

Bibens-Dirkx is making his first major league start in this big ask after making four relief appearances this season in his age-32 season, averaging more than two innings per appearance. A true journeyman, Bibens-Dirkx is taking the place of A.J. Griffin in the starting rotation, who hit the DL with an intercostal strain (which sounds terrible).

The Rangers have promoted former starter Dillon Gee to the bullpen to take Griffin’s place on the roster.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx

Here’s what Brooks Baseball has to say about the journeyman:

Austin Bibens-Dirkx has thrown 256 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2011 and 2017, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training. In 2017, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (91mph) and Cutter (87mph), also mixing in a Slider (80mph) and Change (86mph).

The breakdown is 48% fourseam, 30% cutter, and a handful of sliders (31), and only 6% change (15 total). Given its movement, he could probably throw the change more, and maybe he does. We’ve never seen him start, and there’s not exactly a ton of articles out there.

My impression of Rangers fans reactions to Bibens-Dirkx starting is...

... so for the love of God please win this game.

Today's Lineups

Corey Dickerson - DH Shin-Soo Choo - RF
Kevin Kiermaier - CF Elvis Andrus - SS
Evan Longoria - 3B Nomar Mazara - LF
Logan Morrison - 1B Adrian Beltre - DH
Steven Souza - RF Rougned Odor - 2B
Colby Rasmus - LF Jonathan Lucroy - C
Tim Beckham - SS Joey Gallo - 3B
Derek Norris - C Mike Napoli - 1B
Daniel Robertson - 2B Jared Hoying - CF
Chris Archer - RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx - RHP