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Game Preview: Blake Snell vs Kevin Gausman

The Rays look to snap a four game losing streak behind their former top prospect

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays are reeling, but haven’t lost to much ground in the standings. They have now lost four games in a row, falling back into third place in the AL East and into a tie for the second Wild Card spot.

The Rays will now look to right the ship tonight as they welcome the Baltimore Orioles into town to begin a three game series.

The Orioles are still within reaching distance of the playoffs, but it take a major run for them to be able to pull it off this late in the season. Heading into play tonight, they are 47-51, three and a half games back of the second Wild Card spot, while they’re seven games back in the division, sitting in 4th place.

Starting Pitchers

Blake Snell goes for the Rays as he looks to put his past performances behind him. Snell shows his potential at least a couple of times throughout each outing, but eventually he unravels and things go badly in hurry. His last time out came on the 18th in Oakland where he allowed three runs on three hits — one homer — and he also picked up six strikeouts, but walked three and lasted just four innings.

Kevin Gausman has had an up and down year for the Orioles in 2017. When he’s bad, he’s really, really bad. But, when he occasionally is able to figure things out, opponents have a real tough time hitting him. His last start was one of those good time as he held the Texas Rangers to just a run on four hits — the run came from a solo homer — while he walked two and struck out eight over six innings pitched.

Regarding flyball/groundball rates, Gausman is around the league average in each batted ball category with his HR/FB% being slightly more inflated. Whether you’re a lefty or righty, you’ve probably hit Gausman well in 2017 as both sides of the plate have a .370 wOBA or above against him. If you had to pick a side that was better a the plate, lefties dominate him, despite being a reverse split guy throughout most of his career.

Gausman features a mid 90’s fastball and sinker, tending to mostly rely on his fastball, throwing it over 60% of the time. He’ll back those pitches up with a slider and splitter combo, with the splitter being his most effective pitch that opposing hitters need to watch for. He’ll throw it a bout a 1/5th of the time, but still generates a swing and a miss 23% of the time he throws it.

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

BALTIMORE ORIOLES TAMPA BAY RAYS
Adam Jones - CF Steven Souza - RF
Manny Machado - 3B Corey Dickerson - LF
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Evan Longoria - 3B
Mark Trumbo - 1B Logan Morrison - 1B
Trey Mancini - LF Wilson Ramos - C
Welington Castillo - DH Brad Miller - DH
Caleb Joseph - C Tim Beckham - 2B
Ruben Tejada - SS Mallex Smith - CF
Joey Rickard - RF Adeiny Hechavarria - SS
Kevin Gausman - RHP Blake Snell - LHP