Tampa Bay Rays Preview: Yarbrough to start and other key matchups

Ryan Yarbrough of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
Ryan Yarbrough of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Rays went down to the Blue Jays in the first game of the season. Today, they look to even the score.

The Tampa Bay Rays and Charlie Morton suffered the loss on Opening Day to a young and hungry Blue Jays team. The team from Toronto was led by their new ace Hyun-Jin Ryu. They were able to put up six runs, all off of Charlie Morton.

Saturday, July 25, the Rays will roll with the talented lefty and former “bulk guy” Ryan Yarbrough. He came to camp with the intention of proving his worth as a full-time starter and was dazzling in the abbreviated workouts heading into the season. He earned the spot as the second pitcher in the rotation and now has a chance to even the Rays’ record on the season.

As a starting pitcher last season, Yarbrough set the franchise record for WHIP and led all Rays’ starters in walk percentage.

Tampa Bay Rays – Key Matchups

Today he faces off against RHP Matt Shoemaker of the Blue Jays. Toronto hasn’t had much success against Yarbrough with Vlad Guerrero Jr., Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Danny Jansen, Anthony Alford, Reese McGuire, Billy McKinney, and Joe Panik combining to go 0-26 against the lefty in their careers.

In 13 career at-bats, Teoscar Hernandez is hitting .154 with two homers off Yarbrough.

Randal Grichuk boasts a career .308 average against him while Cavan Biggio, Rowdy Tellez, and Bo Bichette have also hit him well in small sample sizes.

On the flip side, the Rays batters don’t have much experience against Matt Shoemaker. Mike Zunino is the only player with more than six at-bats in his career against the right-handed hurler. In 13 at-bats Zunino is hitting .154 off of him, or a little worse than his season total last year.

It should be interesting to see how Kevin Cash constructs his lineup today. I imagine Brandon Lowe will get the start at second after giving way to Mike Brosseau yesterday against the left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Next. Tsutsugo Homers in Debut. dark

The first pitch is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. EST.