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Game 82 Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs Houston Astros

The Rays go for their second victory in a row

Toronto Blue Jays v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Starting Pitchers

Matchup

Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP AVG fWAR G/GS
Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP AVG fWAR G/GS
Ryne Stanek 24.1 29.5% 13.7% 3.46 .122 0.3 20/8
Justin Verlander 113.2 31.3% 5.3% 2.69 .170 3.7 16/16

Justin Verlander Scouting Report

Verlander has gone through a career resurgence since joining the Astros as the 2017 trade deadline. Thus far in 2018, he has been among the best pitchers in all of baseball, with dominating starts almost every time out. He faced the Rays just two weeks ago on the 19th as he worked 7 23 innings, striking out 10 and allowing a run on six hits.

His last start came on the 25th against the Blue Jays, where he again worked 7 23 innings in what was actually his worst — by the numbers — start of the season as he allowed, a season high, four earned runs on seven hits, two home runs, while he walked two and struck out six.

His pitch usage, per Brooks Baseball

In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (95mph) and Slider (87mph), also mixing in a Curve (80mph). He also rarely throws a Change(88mph) and Cutter (92mph).

His fourseam fastball generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers, has good “rising” action, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers, has slight armside run and has slightly above average velo. His slider results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ sliders. His curve has a sharp downward bite and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ curves. His change is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers’ changeups, has an obvious armside fade and is much firmer than usual. His cutter (take this with a grain of salt because he’s only thrown 8 of them in 2018) is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ cutters, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers’ cutters, has surprisingly little cutting action, has well above average velo and has good “rise”.

Splits

. wOBA AVG OBP SLG K% BB% HR TBF
. wOBA AVG OBP SLG K% BB% HR TBF
LHB .228 .144 .223 .285 33.8% 7.6% 5 198
RHB .237 .189 .224 .324 29.1% 3.4% 6 237
TTO - - - - - - - -
1ST .188 .136 .170 .259 36.6% 2.0% 5 153
2ND .206 .144 .224 .228 28.8% 9.2% 0 153
3RD .304 .230 .275 .434 28.3% 4.2% 5 120

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

HOUSTON ASTROS TAMPA BAY RAYS
George Springer - RF Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Alex Bregman - 3B Matt Duffy - 3B
Jose Altuve - 2B Jake Bauers - DH
Evan Gattis - DH Wilson Ramos - C
Josh Reddick - LF Joey Wendle - LF
Tyler White - 1B Daniel Robertson - 2B
Marwin Gonzalez - SS C.J. Cron - 1B
Brian McCann - C Carlos Gomez - RF
Jake Marisnick - CF Adeiny Hechavarria - SS
Justin Verlander - RHP Ryne Stanek - RHP