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Game 4 Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox

Fresh off a fantastic rookie campaign, Jake Faria looks to kick off 2018 on a good note

MLB: Spring Training-Minnesota Twins at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Starting Pitchers

Jake Faria vs Hector Velazquez

Faria will look to continue the promising start to his big league career as he was fantastic for the Rays during the 2017 season. After being promoted in early June, Faria forced the Rays to find a spot for him in the starting rotation, where he would stay until the season’s conclusion.

Overall, Faria made 14 starts (16 appearances) for the Rays, registering a 3.43 ERA / 4.12 FIP to go along with a 23.5 K% and 8.7 BB%. Meanwhile, opponents hit .221 off him in just shy of 87 inning pitched.

Hector Velazquez Scouting Report

The Boston Red Sox picked up Velazquez from the Mexican Leagues prior to the start of the 2017 season and called him up to the majors in May for a spot start. He would ride the shuttle a couple of times before being promoted for good in September when rosters expanded.

Overall, he made 3 starts (8 appearances) for Boston, allowing eight runs on 21 hits in just shy of 25 innings pitched, walking 7 and striking out 19.

His repertoire, courtesy of Brooks Baseball

In 2017, he relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (90mph), also mixing in a Change (84mph), Sinker (89mph), Slider (81mph) and Curve (77mph).

His fourseam fastball is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers, has below average velo and has some natural sinking action. His change has slight cut action, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ changeups and has some natural sink to it. His sinker is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ sinkers, has below average velo, results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers’ sinkers and has less armside run than typical. His slider is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers’ sliders, has below average velo, has less than expected depth and has primarily 12-6 movement. His curve results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ curves, has little depth and has primarily 12-6 movement.

Pitch usage

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

Mookie Betts - RF Denard Span - DH
Rafael Devers - 3B Kevin Kiermaier - CF
J.D. Martinez - LF Carlos Gomez - RF
Xander Bogaerts - SS Brad Miller - 1B
Mitch Moreland - 1B Matt Duffy - 3B
Christian Vazquez - C Joey Wendle - 2B
Jackie Bradley - CF Wilson Ramos - C
Blake Swihart - DH Mallex Smith - LF
Brock Holt - 2B Adeiny Hechavarria - SS
Hector Velazquez - RHP Jake Faria - RHP