Series preview: Indians at Rays (May 9-11)

Brian Blanco

The Indians open a six-game road trip with a visit to Tropicana Field to face the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Tribe start this road trip with a three-game set in Cigar City to face the Rays.

  • Friday's game is at 7:10 PM (Kluber vs. Odorizzi)
  • Saturday's game is at 7:10 PM (McAllister vs. Bedard)
  • Sunday's game is at 1:40 PM (Tomlin vs. Archer)

After a much needed day off, the Tribe will head to Toronto for three games.

Division Watch: Twins at Tigers, Diamondbacks at White Sox, Royals at Mariners.

Team in a Box

Tampa Bay Rays

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2014 Record

15-20

Runs/Game

4.2

7th

Runs/Game

4.5

11th

AL East

5th

OBP

332

6th

H/9

8.9

10th

Last 10

4-6

SLG

391

7th

BB/9

3.4

10th

Last 30

12-18

Steals

12

13th

SO/9

7.5

9th

*all stats through Wednesday's games except overall record

The Rays may be in last place in their division, but they sit 4.5 games back of first place in the East as that division is the tightest in the AL. They recently finished a tough road trip through Chicago, Boston and New York at 5-5, but just got swept at home by the Orioles to slide back down.

The strength of this team in the recent past has been their pitching staff. But after a pair of key injuries this year, the only established guy left is Price. It is unusual to see the staff's ranking near the bottom of the league.

The hitting is in the middle of the pack too, so they have not been able to outhit their pitching shortcomings. Their defense has been pretty stout again, but is only 14th in turning double plays.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

C

Ryan Hanigan

R

87

263

783

1B

James Loney

L

135

316

836

2B

Ben Zobrist

S

151

262

716

3B

Evan Longoria

R

149

269

747

SS

Yunel Escobar

R

132

244

649

LF

David DeJesus

L

88

227

754

CF

Desmond Jennings

R

140

269

820

RF

Wil Myers

R

141

256

722

DH

Matt Joyce

L

111

287

833

C

Jose Molina

R

41

128

299

IF

Logan Forsythe

R

67

169

491

OF

Sean Rodriguez

R

55

255

897

OF

Brandon Guyer

R

32

200

459

Loney continues to enjoy his resurrection in Tampa. The always dangerous Longoria has been a bit below average so far, but Jennings and Joyce have more than covered for him. The only black hole is Escobar. The bench other than Rodriguez are hitters in name only.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

WHIP

K/9

David Price

L

4.44

48.2

1.171

10.2

Chris Archer

R

4.91

40.1

1.364

7.6

Jake Odorizzi

R

6.83

27.2

1.807

8.5

Cesar Ramos

L

2.96

27.1

1.244

6.3

Erik Bedard

L

4.35

20.2

1.645

5.7

Grant Balfour

R

4.73

13.1

1.425

6.8

Joel Peralta

R

5.54

13.0

1.385

7.6

Jake McGee

L

1.76

15.1

0.978

8.8

Juan Carlos Oviedo

R

4.05

6.2

1.650

9.5

Josh Lueke

R

4.58

19.2

1.576

5.9

Brandon Gomes

R

3.71

17.0

1.235

5.8

Brad Boxberger

R

0.00

7.2

1.043

9.4

After dealing James Shields after the 2012 season, the Rays still had three top starters in Price, Matt Moore and Alex Cobb. Unfortunately, only Price is still in the rotation as Moore and Cobb both got hurt in April, with Moore out for the year. Archer, like Price, has been a but unlucky in his starts as his FIP is 2.95. We don't face Price this time, but still get two lefties in Bedard and Ramos. I think Bedard is done, so hopefully our bats stay awake against him. Ramos is an unknown, so I expect a low scoring affair in that one. And Odorizzi is almost up to 2 baserunners an inning, ouch.

The bullpen only has one lefty in McGee, so expect him to pitch in all three games. The rest of the pen has not been very good, with Balfour pitching similar to Axford with that WHIP of his.

On the Shelf

  • SP Alex Cobb [15 day DL], possible late May return
  • SP Matt Moore [15 day DL], out for season
  • SP Jeremy Hellickson [15 day DL] , possible late June return
  • IF Tim Beckham [15 day DL]
  • RP Alex Colome [Restricted List]

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2014

-

-

-

-

-

-

2013

2

4

333

23

30

381

Last 5*

15

22

405

159

187

426

Last 10*

41

36

532

381

345

545

All-Time

75

50

600

673

537

602

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