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Rays-Brewers preview: Alex Cobb vs. Zach Davies

Alex Cobb takes the mound as the Rays try to even the series at one apiece

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

Tonight, the Rays aim to rebound off a tough 2-0 series-opening loss that saw far too many missed opportunities at the plate.

Tampa Bay (57-54) currently sits 4.5 games back of the Red Sox in the AL East and 0.5 games back of the Royals for the 2nd wild card spot.

Milwaukee (58-53) currently sits 0.5 games back of the Cubs in the NL Central and 5.5 games back of the Rockies for the 2nd wild card spot

Tonight’s game will be televised on Fox Sports Sun. First pitch is slated for 5:10 PM ET.

Starting Pitchers

Alex Cobb

The Rays look to even the series behind right-hander Alex Cobb, who is coming off one of his worst performances of the season lasting only three innings while giving up eight runs in Monday's loss against the Astros.

Cobb (9-3) was an on tear entering his last start, having fired four consecutive quality starts with a 3-0 record and a 1.48 ERA. Unfortunately, the Astros have the ability to tear any pitcher apart (26th time in 2017 that the Astros have put up eight runs), indicating Cobb isn't alone having major struggles against Houston.

He owns a respectable 3.89 ERA heading into today’s contest, mixing and matching effectively with his fastball-curveball platter.

Cobb has faired competently vs. both LHB’s and RHB’s, holding hitters to the tune of .267/.304/.428 from the right side of the plate and .234/.312/.405 from the left side of the plate.

Zach Davies

Milwaukee counters with right-hander Zach Davies, who is 12-5 with a 4.42 on the season but has found success lately, sporting a 5-1 record with a 2.74 ERA in his last seven starts.

As JT noted in our series preview:

Davies has a below average 16.0% strikeout rate, but his 7.2% walk rate is also above average. He’s has had fairly neutral splits allowing a .339 wOBA against left handed batters and a .342 wOBA against right handed batters. However he has allowed a .204 ISO to left handed batters that is over .050 higher than against right handed bats. Davies is coming off seven strong innings against the Chicago Cubs where he allowed three runs.

Davies has struggles vs RHB's in 2017, posting a .303/.346/.453 slash-line against hitters from the right side of the plate. He's been more effective against LHB's, sporting a .256/.337/.457 slash-line against hitters from the right side of the plate.

As noted above, Davies has found his groove as of late and will try to make it at least seven innings for the fourth straight outing tonight against the Rays.

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

Eric Thames - DH Corey Dickerson - LF
Domingo Santana - RF Lucas Duda - DH
Ryan Braun - LF Evan Longoria - 3B
Travis Shaw - 3B Logan Morrison - 1B
Jesus Aguilar - 1B Steven Souza - RF
Manny Pina - C Brad Miller - 2B
Eric Sogard - 2B Adeiny Hechavarria - SS
Keon Broxton - CF Mallex Smith - CF
Orlando Arcia - SS Jesus Sucre - C
Zach Davies - RHP Alex Cobb - RHP