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Game 3 Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox

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The Rays bullpen faces off against the 2016 AL Cy Young winner

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

Last night, the Tampa Bay Rays took their first loss of the new season as they were shutout by David Price and the Boston bullpen. Tonight, they’ll look climb back above the .500 mark as they have their first bullpen day of the year.

Throwing it back, the Rays will wear their original jerseys for tonight’s game as they celebrate 20 years of baseball in Tampa Bay.

Starting Pitchers

Andrew Kittredge & the Rays bullpen vs Rick Porcello

Kittredge’s story is one of those that makes this game so great, as he was drafted in the 45th round of the 2008 draft by the Seattle Mariners, but did not sign. He would go undrafted for the rest of his school career, however, in 2011 the Mariners called again and this time, Kittredge signed.

After working his way through the system, Kittredge was dealt to the Tampa Bay Rays following the 2016 season. He would make his major league debut in July and eventually made 15 appearances (15 innings pitched) for the Rays allowing just 4 runs — three earned — while possessing a 21.2 K% and a 9.1 BB%.

Two Rays pitching prospects may make their debuts tonight as Yonny Chirinos and Ryan Yarbrough both can pitching multiple innings.

Rick Porcello Scouting Report

The 2016 American League Cy Young winner (thanks to a couple of Tampa Bay voters) took a step backwards during the 2017 season as he led the majors by allowing 38 HR, to go along with opponents hitting .284 off him. He made a total of 33 starts last season, accumulating a 4.65 ERA / 4.60 FIP with a 20.5 K% and 5.4%.

Prior to the 2016 season, he had been a groundball pitcher, but that went away as he transitioned to Boston. This past year, he had a 39.9 FB%, compared to a 30.8 FB% over his career.

Lefties pummeled Porcello (.360 wOBA) as they slugged .520 against him over 427 plate appearances in 2017. Righties fared rather well too, as Porcello struggled all around.

His Repertoire, courtesy of Brooks Baseball

In 2017, he relied primarily on his Sinker (90mph) and Fourseam Fastball (93mph), also mixing in a Slider (86mph), Curve (75mph) and Change using a Palm Ball grip (81mph).

Basic description of 2017 pitches compared to other RHP: His sinker results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ sinkers and has slightly below average velo. His fourseam fastball generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers, has essentially average velo and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers. His slider has less than expected depth. His curve has slight glove-side movement and has slightly below average velo. His change has below average velo and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ changeups.

Pitch Usage

Starting Lineups