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Game 2 Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox

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Two of the Rays best ever pitching prospects face off as Blake Snell takes on David Price

MLB: Spring Training-Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After last night’s thrilling victory, the Tampa Bay Rays will once more face the Boston Red Sox for the second game of their four game series.

Starting Pitchers

Blake Snell vs David Price

It was a tale of two halves for Blake Snell in 2017 as he struggled mightily enough during the first half of 2017, warranting a couple of demotions to Triple-A Durham. However, towards the end of July, he made a minor change where he stood on the mound and began to dominate opposing lineups. The Rays and Snell will hope that his second half will carry over to the 2018 season.

Overall in 2017, Snell compiled a record of 5-7, while registering a 4.04 ERA / 4.19 FIP over the course of 24 starts and just shy of 130 innings pitched. The key for Snell will be to command his pitches, as his walk rate has been his downfall in his young career (11.6% thus far).

David Price Scouting Report

The seasoned veteran and former Cy Young winner returns to Tropicana Field, entering his 11th year in the majors. Price struggled to stay healthy during the 2017 season, but whenever he did make it to the mound, Price excelled in his usual Price way.

He made 11 starts, but appeared in a total of 16 games after a late season conversion to the bullpen for the playoff run. Overall, he compiled a record of 6-3, accruing a 3.38 ERA / 3.64 FIP in just shy of 75 innings pitched..

His repertoire courtesy of Brooks Baseball

In 2017, he relied primarily on his Sinker (95mph) and Cutter (89mph), also mixing in a Change using a Circle Change grip (86mph), Fourseam Fastball (94mph) and Curve using a Knuckle Curve grip (80mph).

His sinker is blazing fast, generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ sinkers, has little sinking action compared to a true sinker and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ sinkers. His cutter generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ cutters and has well above average velo. His change generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers’ changeups, is much firmer than usual and has slight armside fade. His fourseam fastball generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers and has well above average velo. His curve is much harder than usual, has little depth, has primarily 12-6 movement and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers’ curves.

His pitch usage as a starting pitcher last season

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

BOSTON RED SOX TAMPA BAY RAYS
Mookie Betts - RF Matt Duffy - 3B
Andrew Benintendi - LF Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Hanley Ramirez - 1B Carlos Gomez - RF
J.D. Martinez - DH C.J. Cron - DH
Xander Bogaerts - SS Wilson Ramos - C
Rafael Devers - 3B Brad Miller - 1B
Eduardo Nunez - 2B Adeiny Hechavarria - SS
Jackie Bradley - CF Daniel Robertson - 2B
Christian Vazquez - C Rob Refsnyder - LF
David Price - LHP Blake Snell - LHP