Every so often, we are reminded that there is another group of 15 teams that play a game slightly similar to the Real Baseball that is played by the National League. This next series is one of those times. The Diamondbacks take a trip to visit the Rays and the American League, home of the DH.
Game 1: Merrill Kelly (3-2, 3.60 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) vs Blake Snell (2-3, 4.31 ERA, 1.11 WHIP)
Aside from having an A+ first name, Snell was also the AL Cy Young award last season. He seemed to be continuing that to start the season. Then he broke his toe, and since he came back he has struggled. His last two starts have been less than four innings each, and his last game was a seven run debacle on top of it. However, he is the reigning Cy Young winner, so I wouldn’t rush off to bet against him in this game.
Merrill Kelly continued his surprisingly good return to the states in his last start against the Yankees. He went five and a third innings, while holding New York to just one run over that time. He’s been incredibly consistant this season, with his only blemish coming against the Cubs.
Game 2: Taylor Clarke vs TBD
Well, not a ton to say about this one, to be honest. Clarke is making his first Major League start after replacing Godley in the rotation. It’s not his first time on the team this season, of course. He recorded a save against the Cubs back on the 20th. Thanks to the DH, he doesn’t have to worry about losing his 1.000 average this series.
As of writing, the Rays have not yet announced who will be taking the mound to start, or open, the game on Tuesday. When they do, I’ll update this with that information.
Game 3: Robbie Ray (2-1, 3.79 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) vs. Charlie Morton (3-0, 2.52 ERA, 1.09 WHIP)
Morton has been very good for the Rays so far this season. So far this season, he’s only had game where he’s given up more than 2(?!) runs, that being a five run, four and two thirds inning start against the Red Sox in Tampa. He promises to be a tough opponent for the Diamondbacks offense.
Ray had a good outing last time against the Rockies that was almost ruined by his defense. He gave up five runs on the night, however, only one of them was earned. The other four came after two errors allowed the fourth inning to go on much longer than it should have. He’ll look to build off an otherwise good outing at a much more pitcher friendly park
I have to say I’m not particularly optimistic for this series. Blake Snell is a very good pitcher, despite how his last two starts have gone, and Morton is also having a very good series. Add in a lot of uncertainty with Clarke making his first Major League start in the second game, and just how good this Rays team has been so far, it has the makings of a tough series for Arizona. I’m afraid I have to go with Dbacks lose the series 1-2, and hope they prove me wrong.