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Game Preview: Blake Snell vs Chris Smith

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, the Rays will look for another series victory as they’ll take on the Oakland Athletics in the second game of a three game series.

Last night, the Rays took a one run victory over Oakland as they defeated them 3-2, with Evan Longoria and Steven Souza Jr providing the run support while Jake Odorizzi stymied the Athletics for seven innings, allowing a lone run in Odorizzi fashion on a solo homer. Alex Colome yielded a run, but closed the game out.

The Rays are now 50-44 and just two games back of the Boston Red Sox in the division, while they have built game and a half lead over the New York Yankees in the Wild Card chase. The Athletics meanwhile, fell to 42-51 (second worst record in the AL) while they’re 20 games back of the division leading Houston Astros.

Starting Pitchers

Blake Snell takes the mound for the Rays hoping to build momentum from his previous start, which could have been his best of the year (five innings, 0 runs, but still walked four). Snell continues to show glimpses of just how dominant he could be, loses command rapidly at times forcing long innings.

Chris Smith made the first start of his major league career (as well as first major league appearance of 2017) just prior to the All-Star break, he took on the Mariners on the 8th and allowed three runs on six hits — one homer -- while he walked one and struck out four over six innings pitched. His first start was a long time coming after making 63 appearances prior during various major league stints from 2008 to 2010 with the Red Sox and Brewers, as well as from 2016 to now with the Athletics.

Not one to challenge hitters with high velocity, Smith has a fastball that tops out in the high 80’s while he’ll also bring a change up and curveball to the table in the high 70’s. Righties can pretty much sit on the fastball as he throws it over half of time against the while he likes to mix his pitches more to lefties.

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

TAMPA BAY RAYS OAKLAND A'S
Corey Dickerson - DH Rajai Davis - RF
Steven Souza - RF Marcus Semien - SS
Evan Longoria - 3B Ryon Healy - 1B
Logan Morrison - 1B Khris Davis - LF
Wilson Ramos - C Jed Lowrie - DH
Brad Miller - 2B Matt Chapman - 3B
Adeiny Hechavarria - SS Adam Rosales - 2B
Shane Peterson - LF Josh Phegley - C
Peter Bourjos - CF Jaycob Brugman - CF
Blake Snell - LHP Chris Smith - RHP