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Rays vs Red Sox Preview: Battle of the Aces

Rays rookie sensation Jacob Faria takes the hill opposing Red Sox lefty and Cy Young favorite Chris Sale.

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

Tonight, the Rays kick off a big four-game set at Tropicana Field against the Boston Red Sox. Fans attending the game will have the treat of watching a great pitching matchup: Jacob Faria vs. Chris Sale. AKA: “The Present vs. The Future”.

The Rays (44-42) are coming off a series split with the Chicago Cubs and will look to build on an impressive 9-3-5 series record over their last 17 series.

The Red Sox (49-36) currently sit in 1st place in the AL East standings and will be looking for their seventh win in their past eight games.

Tonight’s game will be televised on Fox Sports Sun. First pitch is slated for 6:10 PM ET.

Starting Pitchers

Jacob Faria

The right-hander allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits while striking out six over 6.2 innings, Friday against the Orioles.

Faria (3-0) is yet to have a poor start in his young big-league career. Through five big league starts, the rookie is registering a 2.23 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 35/5 K/BB ratio. He is only the third pitcher since 2013 to begin his career with five consecutive quality starts. #Elite

He has fared marvelously vs. both RHB’s and LHB’s, posting a .191/.242/.337 slash-line from the right side of the plate and .233/.258/.233 from the left side of the plate. Left-handed batters have mightily struggled vs. Faria in 2017, going 7-for-30 (.233) with a .491 OPS against the righty.

Chris Sale

The southpaw is coming into tonight’s game off one of his sharpest outings of the season. Sale dazzled Saturday in Toronto, turning in 7.0 scoreless innings with four hits, one walk, and 11 strikeouts en route to his 11th win of the season.

He's now second in the American League behind Jason Vargas for wins with 11 and his 12.43 K/9 is the best in baseball among starters. To further frighten you, Sale sports a brilliant 2.61 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 166/22 K/BB ratio on the season.

The Red Sox ace has excelled vs. both RHB’s and LHB’s, holding hitters to the tune of .198/.243/.301 from the right side of the plate and .193/.220/.351 from the left side of the plate.

In two starts against the Rays this season, Sale is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in 14.0 innings pitched.

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

Mookie Betts - RF Steven Souza - RF
Dustin Pedroia - 2B Trevor Plouffe - DH
Xander Bogaerts - SS Evan Longoria - 3B
Mitch Moreland - 1B Logan Morrison - 1B
Hanley Ramirez - DH Wilson Ramos - C
Andrew Benintendi - LF Taylor Featherston - 2B
Jackie Bradley - CF Adeiny Hechavarria - SS
Sandy Leon - C Peter Bourjos - CF
Tzu-Wei Lin - 3B Mallex Smith - LF
Chris Sale - LHP Jacob Faria - RHP