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Rays to start Diego Castillo in Game 4 of ALDS against Houston Astros

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“My job is to give 100 percent,” Castillo said at his press conference ahead of his Game 4 start.

MLB: AL Wild Card-Tampa Bay Rays at Oakland Athletics Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

As the Houston Astros turn to Justin Verlander on short-rest, the Rays will be giving 100-mph reliever Diego Castillo the nod as Tampa Bay looks to bullpen-day their way to a Game 5 in the 2019 ALDS.

“We’ll start with Diego. From there, depends kind of where we land in the batting order,” Kevin Cash said after today’s raucous win at Tropicana Field. “We’re capable of multiple innings from a lot of the guys in the bullpen.”

Diego Castillo was a surprisingly dominant force in two consecutive innings against the Astros earlier in the series. As an Opener, Castillo has pitched with slightly more average velocity — though when you’re touching 100, how much can you add? — and has an above average 3.70 ERA (3.26 FIP, 2.83 xFIP) in 24.1 innings as an Opener in his career.

As a reliever, though, Castillo owns an even better 3.21 ERA (3.60 FIP, 3.74 xFIP) in 101 innings. Either way, he good.

For more on Diego Castillo you can read about Castillos journey to his playoff dominance here from JT Morgan:

Diego Castillo is a key to the Rays bullpen against the Astros

Additionally, former DRaysBay site runner Tommy Rancel offered a great breakdown of Castillo’s big Wild Card performance at The Athletic.

After Castillo in the bullpen may likely follow two pitchers who would love to forget September in LHP Ryan Yarbrough (a 2019 darling in the rotation whose late season ERA ballooned through a couple rough starts), and RHP Yonny Chirinos (who recovered from a finger injury just in time to rejoin the Rays last month).

Can these three pitchers absorb two innings each?

We’ll find out tomorrow.

Go Rays.