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Rays-Indians Preview: Blake Snell vs. Danny Salazar

The Rays kick off a pivotal four-game set versus the Cleveland Indians at Tropicana Field

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, the Rays begin a pivotal four-game series at Tropicana Field against the Cleveland Indians.

The Rays (58-57) currently sit one game behind the Seattle Mariners for the 2nd Wild Card spot will look to bounce back after getting swept by the Boston Red Sox.

The Indians (60-51) currently sit atop the AL Central but and will look to pad their four game division lead over the Royals after splitting a two-game series with the Colorado Rockies.

Tonight's game will be televised on Fox Sports Sun. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.

Starting Pitchers

Blake Snell

The 24-year old was recalled from Triple-A Durham on Tuesday after Alex Cobb landed on the DL with turf toe.

The southpaw has followed a dynamic rookie season with a disappointing 2017 campaign, in which he's racked up a 4.98 ERA over 14 starts and lasted just four innings in his last outing.

Snell (0-6) has compiled a 4.98 ERA and 64:41 K:BB through 14 starts (72.1 innings).

He has struggled vs. RHB’s, posting a .274/.370/.473 slash-line about the right side of the plate. He’s fared great against lefties, posting a .190/.271/.238 slash-line from the left side of the plate.

Even with being recalled, I think Snell has thrown the ball better as of late. He's attacking the zone more and trusting his stuff at a higher rate. Let's hope he has the recipe for success to go deep into tonight's game. The Rays could really benefit from a quality start after last night's Odorizzi injured-caused bullpen unloading.

Danny Salazar

The right-hander allowed one run on four hits and three walks while striking out 12 batters through seven innings during Saturday's loss to the Yankees. He didn't factor into the decision.

Salazar has been a tear since he came off the DL on July 22, as he's now allowed just three runs on eight hits and five walks while striking out 28 batters through 20 innings over his past three starts.

He will be another tough test for a struggling Rays lineup that has mustered just four runs across the plate over their last five games.

Salazar has excelled vs RHB's this season, holding hitters to a .200/.272/.342 slash-line from the right side of the plate. He's struggled against lefties, allowing a .286/.377/.508 slash-line from the left side of the plate.

Salazar's record holds at 4-5 with a 4.32 ERA. He has 105 strikeouts and 33 walks in 75 innings.

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

CLEVELAND INDIANS TAMPA BAY RAYS
Francisco Lindor - SS Corey Dickerson - LF
Jason Kipnis - 2B Lucas Duda - DH
Jose Ramirez - 3B Evan Longoria - 3B
Edwin Encarnacion - DH Logan Morrison - 1B
Carlos Santana - 1B Steven Souza - RF
Austin Jackson - CF Brad Miller - 2B
Brandon Guyer - RF Adeiny Hechavarria - SS
Yan Gomes - C Mallex Smith - CF
Abraham Almonte - LF Jesus Sucre - C
Danny Salazar - RHP Blake Snell - LHP