Tampa Bay Rays Game Preview: Key Matchups vs Braves 7/30/20
By Keegan McGuiggan
The Tampa Bay Rays will look to win their third game in this four-game series against the Atlanta Braves when LHP Ryan Yarbrough takes the mound against LHP Max Fried.
Tampa Bay Rays will look to get back on track following a loss yesterday to the Braves in Atlanta. After going up 4-2 in the top of the 6th following RBI base-hits from defensive specialist Kevin Keirmaier and slugger Hunter Renfroe, the wheels fell off after some bullpen struggles.
Andrew Kittredge and Oliver Drake combined to give up three runs in the bottom half of the sixth to give the Braves a 5-4 lead. The Braves came back to score two more runs in the seventh off of Jose Alvarado which proved to be too much of a deficit for the Rays to overcome as they dropped this game 7-4.
Tampa Bay Rays – Ryan Yarbrough
For the finale of this four-game series, we should be treated to a great pitchers duel between two lefties with nasty stuff in Ryan Yarbrough and Max Fried. Yarbrough was fantastic in his 2020 debut as he went 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Blue Jays.
This won’t be the first time Yarbrough has faced the Braves as he pitched five innings allowing five runs on six hits against Atlanta in a 2018 matchup. Yarbrough has shown excellent control of his pitches as he hasn’t allowed more than two walks in 12 straight appearances.
And while Yarbrough doesn’t strikeout many hitters, he should have a good opportunity to increase his punch-out numbers facing a Braves squad that has struck out a league-leading 74 times in this early season.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Max Fried
The Rays haven’t seen Max Fried before so this should be an interesting matchup. The 26-year old lefty had a breakout 2019 season when he won 17 games with a 4.02 ERA and a 3.45 ERA from June 8 to the end of the season.
Rays hitters should expect to see a lot of four-seamers from Fried which he throws 47.8 % of the time while mixing in his devastating 12-6 curve that makes opposing hitters look absolutely silly.
Fried will look to slow down Rays INF Joey Wendle who is 5-12 with three runs scored and a couple of RBIs and has been a consistent pest against Braves pitchers this whole series.
Tampa Bay Rays – Key Matchups
Yarbrough and the Rays meanwhile will have to do their best to limit this Braves lineup, namely a red hot Dansby Swanson and the always dangerous Freddie Freeman who went 4-5 with three runs driven in yesterday.
The Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves will finish off the series Thursday night at 7:10 PM ET. Currently, on Draftkings sportsbook the Braves are a -139 favorite with the run line being set at O/U 8.5.
Let us know your predictions in the comments down below!