The Rays and NY Yankees are tied for first place in the AL East standings, as both teams sport a 41-25 overall record through their first 66 games and a 7.5-game lead over the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. After splitting the first two games, can Tampa Bay close out their series against the A’s with a win at home on Wednesday afternoon?
Anderson due for some regression after 6-4 start
Left-hander Brett Anderson will toe the rubber for the A’s in the series finale at Tropicana Field on Wednesday night. Anderson has pitched well as of late, compiling quality starts in two of his last three outings. He comes in with a 6-4 overall record to go along with a 3.98 ERA in 13 starts this season despite posting a strikeout-to-walk ratio of only 1.44. In his last appearance, the A’s lefty gave up just three runs in 6 ⅓ innings of work in a no-decision versus the Texas Rangers. Anderson has pitched into the sixth inning or later in seven consecutive outings and he’s allowed three runs or fewer in each of his last four starts, but his recent run of success could be coming to a close. His 5.09 xFIP, .277 BABIP and 75.1 percent strand rate are all indicators that regression could be on the way soon.
2️⃣8️⃣ and 2️⃣ back-to-back?
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) June 12, 2019
In four career starts against the Rays, Anderson is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA. However, his last start against them came nearly six years ago in the 2013 season. According to Baseball Savant, the current Rays’ roster is batting just .227 in 22 plate appearances off of the veteran lefty heading into Wednesday’s matchup.
Rays have yet to announce opener for series finale
The Rays have yet to announce a starter for the series finale on Wednesday, but it will presumably be another bullpen game for Tampa Bay. Manager Kevin Cash has become one of the best in baseball at managing his relief pitchers and the Rays have been no stranger to using a reliever to open games over the past two seasons, sparking a league-wide trend. However, the organization’s ability to find, groom, and develop young pitching prospects should not be overlooked. David Price, James Shields, Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, and Blake Snell are just a few of the names to come out of the Rays’ minor league system and they’ve all had a hand in the organization’s success over the years.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 11, 2019
This season is no different with Tampa Bay sitting atop the American League East standings thanks in large part to a pitching staff that owns the best earned run average in baseball at a slim 2.92 mark. Their bullpen ranks third in the Major Leagues with a 3.33 ERA, despite logging the second-most innings in baseball and nearly 75 more innings than either of the top two teams.
- Athletics are 4-9 in their last 13 overall.
- Athletics are 2-6 in their last 8 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Athletics are 1-10 in their last 11 vs. American League East.
- Rays are 16-5 in their last 21 vs. American League West.
- Rays are 19-7 in their last 26 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Rays are 44-17 in their last 61 vs. a team with a losing record.