After losing the second game of the series 7-2 in front of 8,972 people, the Rays will be looking to pull off a series win today.
Cole Hamels (1-2, 4.54 ERA) vs Jake Faria (0-1, 8.18 ERA)
Faria’s second start of the season, where he allowed 8 ER in just 1.2 innings of work, really make his start look worst than it has been. Both pitchers were at their best the last time they threw, Hamels going 6 strong with 2 ER and Faria working through 5.1 innings with 1 ER, so it should be a good battle.
Cole Hamels Scouting Report
The first thing to note about Hamels in 2018 is that he’s not working at the same velocity as he used to, as you can tell from the chart below (courtesy Brooks Baseball)
Along with this change in velocity has come a change in arsenal’s use, bringing his cutter to the front of the line for the first time in his career,
In terms of his most effective pitches overall, the change up has earned him the most whiffs, closely followed by his cutter, and his fastballs have been hit most often as a percentage of pitches thrown. However, LHH have had more success vs his cutter, while RHH have had more success vs his fastball and change up.
It’s still too early to note solid trends so far (caveat of small sample size for the above), but it’s what he - and his opponents - have managed thus far in the season. And the opponents he’s faced are also noteworthy, as he’s faced the Astros twice, the hot start 11-5 Blue Jays, and the 8-10 Athletics.
So despite tough opponents to kick off the season and reduced velocity, Hamels has held his own.
Jake Faria Notes
So far in 2018 Faria’s managed a 8.18 BB/9, so we know where he’ll be looking to improve in this game. If he can limit the walks as he did his last time out (2 in 5.1 innings), he should be able to put in a solid start and get himself to the 6 inning mark for the first time in 2018.
In terms of pitch counts, Faria threw 78-73-83 over his first three starts, so expecting him to near 100 if things are working well enough is reasonable.
Of note for the Rays is the use of Brandon Snyder at 3B (126 GP there in the minors, 27 in MLB) which results in Daniel Robertson heading to 2B, and Johnny Field giving Carlos Gomez a day off in RF. Also, Adeiny Hechavarria drops to 5th in the lineup after two games in the 2-hole where he went 4 for 9 against two other LHP. In 29 AB vs Hamels, Hechavarria has hit .379/.400/.552.
Game 18 Lineup 2018
|RF Shin-Soo Choo||LF Denard Span|
|SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa||2B Daniel Robertson|
|LF Nomar Mazara||DH Carlos Gomez|
|DH Adrian Beltre||1B CJ Cron|
|1B Joey Gallo||SS Adeiny Hechavarria|
|C Robinson Chirinos||C Jesus Sucre|
|2B Drew Robinson||CF Mallex Smith|
|3B Renato Nunez||3B Brandon Snyder|
|CF Carlos Tocci||RF Johnny Field|