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Rays vs Blue Jays preview: Alex Cobb vs. J.A. Happ

Alex Cobb takes the mound as the Rays go for the series win against Toronto

MLB: Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Today, Alex Cobb and the Rays look to conclude a three-game set with a win against the Blue Jays before heading north to face the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Rays won the first game of the series with the Blue Jays taking game #2 yesterday. In the opener, Chris Archer delivered a strong start while Lucas Duda and Corey Dickerson homered to lead the Rays to a 6-5 victory. In game #2, the Rays and Jays combined for nine homers, but, fittingly enough, a home run by Kevin Pillar provided the final edge in a 7-6 win for Toronto.

The Rays will look to bounce back this afternoon when the two square off on Fox Sports Sun. First pitch is set for 1:10 PM ET.

Starting Pitchers

Alex Cobb

In the thick of a playoff race, the Rays will send Cobb (toe) to the mound without making a rehab start.

Cobb was on a roll before injury got the best of him, evidenced by his last start marking the fourth time over his last six starts that he's held opponents to one or fewer earned runs.

The right-hander sports a 9-8 record with a 3.80 ERA after 23 starts. He has 96 strikeouts and 37 walks in 147 innings.

Cobb has been competent vs. RHB’s, posting a .266/.301/.421 slash-line from the right side of the plate. He’s fared well against lefties, holding hitters to a .233/.312/.401 slash-line from the left side of the plate.

Cobb pitched masterfully in his one start against Toronto this season, allowing two runs through eight innings in a no-decision (smh).

J.A. Happ

The southpaw (6-9) gave up five runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out eight over five innings in a losing effort against the Cubs on Friday.

As JT noted in our series preview:

He’s had a very solid season with a 3.90 ERA and 4.04 FIP. His 22.8% strikeout rate is his highest since 2012. Left handed bats have been shut down with a .219/.230/.397 and .262 wOBA allowed this season. In his last start he allowed five runs in five innings to the Chicago Cubs. It will be the first time Happ faces the Rays this season.

Happ has fared adequately vs. RHB's in 2017 posting a .262/.325/.417 slash-line to hitters from the right side of the plate. He's been sensational vs. LHB's, holding hitters to .219/.230/.397 from the left side of the plate.

In 2017, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (93mph) and Sinker (91mph), also mixing in a Change (87mph), Slider (86mph) andCurve (77mph).

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

Steve Pearce - LF Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Josh Donaldson - 3B Lucas Duda - 1B
Justin Smoak - 1B Evan Longoria - 3B
Jose Bautista - RF Logan Morrison - DH
Kendrys Morales - DH Steven Souza - RF
Kevin Pillar - CF Corey Dickerson - LF
Miguel Montero - C Jesus Sucre - C
Ryan Goins - SS Brad Miller - 2B
Darwin Barney - 2B Daniel Robertson - SS
Tom Koehler - RHP Alex Cobb - RHP