Thursday, June 13, 2024
Fantasy Guru - Baseball

MLB Preview: Tampa Bay Rays (82-52) at Cleveland Guardians (64-70)

TAMPA BAY RAYS NOTES:

RAY REPORT — Coming off its AL-leading ninth series sweep of the season over the Marlins, Tampa Bay continues a five-game, six-day road trip through Miami and Cleveland in tonight’s series opener at Progressive Field…the Rays are 20-9 in their last 29 games, including wins in 10 of 12 and 13 of their last 17, following an MLB-worst 5-15 (.250) stretch from 7/1-26…the Rays are a season-high 30 games above .500 for the first time since completing the 2021 season at 38 games over the .500 mark (100-62)…they currently occupy the first AL Wild Card spot, leading Houston by 5.5 games and Texas by 6.5 games…Tampa Bay is 1.5 games behind first-place Baltimore in the AL East after spending 111 consecutive days atop the division from 3/30-7/19. The Rays have won nine of their last 10 series on the heels of a 2-7-2 performance in series play from 6/12-7/26…their 20-9 (.690) record during that span (since 7/28) is second best in the AL behind the Mariners (24-7, .774). The Rays recorded their 13th shutout win of the year on Thursday in Miami, tied with four other teams (including the Guardians) for second most in the majors behind the Braves (15)…the 13 shutouts are tied for fifth most in a season in Rays history; the club single-season record belongs to the 2014 squad (22). The Rays posted the AL’s second-best record in August at 17-8 (.690), trailing only the Mariners (21-6, .778)…Tampa Bay went 8-16 (.333) in July, the second-worst mark in the AL, ahead of only the White Sox (7-16, .304). Tampa Bay opens the month of September with 17 games in 17 consecutive days before its first of three off days during the month (9/18, 9/25, 9/28). The Rays remaining opponents have a combined winning pct. of .537, the third-highest mark in the majors behind the Nationals (.549) and Cardinals (.544).

SERIES STUFF — Per Elias, the Rays have won six straight series for the first time since claiming six consecutive sets to open the 2019 campaign (3/31-4/18, 2019),…they are 13-4 during their current run, which began from 8/11-13 vs. Cleveland at Tropicana Field…Tampa Bay is seeking a seventh consecutive series win for just the third time in franchise history — the club last turned the trick from 6/26-7/28, 2013 as part of a nine-series winning streak (including a one-game series on 7/29/13 at BOS)…the Rays record for most consecutive series wins is 10, accomplished from 7/30-8/31, 2008. The Rays have also won a club-record-tying six consecutive road series dating back to 7/28-30 at Houston, their second time accomplishing the feat in franchise history (also: 6/13-7/24, 2013)…this comes after Tampa Bay went 3-6-2 in their previous 11 road series from 5/8-7/19…the Rays 12-5 (.706) record on the road since 7/28 ranks second in the majors behind the Mariners (14-3, .824). The Rays are 30-13 (.698) in series openers, second best in the majors behind the Braves (31-13, .705)…they have won six straight road series openers and are 14-7 (.762) on the season in such contests, tied for fifth best in MLB…they have won 10 of their last 11 series openers overall dating back to 7/25 vs. Miami.

20-20 VISION — Randy Arozarena has swiped five stolen bases in his last three games to secure his third consecutive 20+ homer, 20+ steal season…he became the first player in major league history to post a 20-20 season as a rookie and again in each of the next two seasons; only Arozarena and LAA Mike Trout (2012-13) have done so as a rookie and in the following season (Elias)…Arozarena is the first player in Rays history to record three consecutive 20-20 seasons and one of three Rays all-time to post at least one 20-20 campaign (also: B.J. Upton – ’07, ’11, ’12; Tommy Pham – ’19). Arozarena joins CLE José Ramírez as the only players in the majors with 20+ homers and 20+ steals in each of the last three seasons…PHI Trea Turner (19HR, 23SB) is one home run away from becoming the third member of the group. Arozarena was the ninth player in the majors to record a 20-20 season in 2023… he is the first Ray ever to reach the milestone before the month of September.
Josh Lowe (18HR, 26SB) is just two home runs away from reaching the 20-20 mark…it would signal the first instance in club history of multiple Rays recording 20+ homers and 20+ steals in the same season…since 2010, only nine teams have had multiple players post 20-20 seasons, most recently accomplished by the 2022
Rangers (Adolis García & Marcus Semien).

RISP MANAGEMENT — Tampa Bay batted an MLB-best .338 with runners in scoring position in August, ahead of Atlanta (.333)…it marked the Rays highest average with RISP in a single month in franchise history, surpassing May 2013 (.337)…the Rays hit just .197 with RISP in July, the third-lowest mark in the majors, ahead of only the Giants (.180) and Yankees (.180)…the .197 average was tied with September/October 2006 for Tampa Bay’s fourth lowest with RISP in a single month in club history, outpacing only July 2008 (.178), August 2017 (.188) and March/April 2021 (.195). Tampa Bay’s .287 batting average with RISP on the year leads MLB, ahead of Baltimore (.281)…the .287 RISP average would signal a single-season franchise record, ahead of the 2005 Devil Rays (.285).

IT TAKES A VILLAGE — Excluding position players, the Rays have used an MLB-leading 36 pitchers, ahead of the Dodgers and Athletics (35 each) and two shy of the club record set in 2021 (38)…the Rays have used only 18 position players, the fewest in the majors — Philadelphia (20) is next closest…the club’s fewest position players used in any season was 19 during the shortened 2020 campaign…overall, Tampa Bay’s 54 total players used are tied with Seattle for third most in the AL, trailing Oakland (58) and Boston (55).

RAYS IN THE LAND — The Rays return to Progressive Field for the first time since being swept by the Guardians in the 2022 AL Wild Card Series…the Rays are 20-8 (.714) over their last 28 matchups with the Guardians dating back to 9/1/18, their best record against any AL opponent in that span, ahead of the Angels (17-7, .708)…this comes after Tampa Bay dropped 15 of 19 games to Cleveland from 6/21/15-8/31/18, tied with Seattle (4-15) for its worst record against any AL opponent during that timeframe. The Rays are 22-16 (.579) at Progressive Field since snapping an 18-game losing streak from 9/29/05-7/23/10 — it remains the longest losing streak at a visiting ballpark in franchise history…including the postseason, the Rays have dropped four consecutive games at Progressive Field. Rays manager Kevin Cash was Cleveland’s bullpen coach under Terry Francona from 2013-14…Cash played under Francona for parts of three seasons (2007-08, 2010) during the latter’s stint as Boston’s skipper. Yandy Díaz was originally signed by Cleveland and spent the first two seasons of his MLB career with the club from 2018-19…Harold Ramírez appeared in 99 games for Cleveland in 2021 after being claimed off waivers from Miami ahead of the season. Matt Moore was claimed by the Guardians off waivers from the Angels on Thursday… the southpaw spent over five seasons with Tampa Bay from 2011-16, making his lone career All-Star appearance in 2013…Shawn Armstrong was an 18th-round pick by Cleveland in 2011 and began his career with the club from 2015-17. Bally Sports Sun analyst Brian Anderson spent parts of three seasons with
Cleveland during his 13-year playing career, including a run to the World Series in 1997…Anderson is a graduate of nearby Geneva High School

TONIGHT’S STARTER: RHP TYLER GLASNOW (7-4, 3.12)
TONIGHT’S START — The righty makes his 16th start of the season and his eighth on the road…his 2.20 ERA (45.0IP, 11ER) since the All-Star break is the lowest in the AL and second lowest in the majors behind only SD Blake Snell (2.12)…he also ranks among AL hurlers since the All-Star break in opponent AVG (1st, .180), WHIP (2nd, 0.89) and wins (T2nd, 5).

LAST TIME OUT — Earned the win on 8/26 vs. New York-AL after tossing 6.0 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit with two walks and four strikeouts. It marked the third start of his career, including his second this season (6/9 vs. TEX), in which he worked 6.0+ innings while allowing one hit or fewer. Marked his 10th career start throwing at least 6.0+ scoreless innings and his first since 5/26/21 vs. KC (W, 8.0IP, 3H, 2BB, 11SO).

CLEVELAND ROCKS — In three career starts opposite the Guardians, Glasnow is 0-2 with a 2.12 ERA (17.0IP, 4ER), holding opponents to a .169 (10-for-59) average…he has 12 strikeouts against two walks in those starts while posting a 0.71 WHIP, but has received just one run of support across his 17.0 innings of work. In Game 2 of last season’s AL Wild Card Series, Glasnow started the contest and tossed 5.0 scoreless innings, scattering two hits with no walks and five strikeouts.

CENTRAL CONTROL — In 12 career appearances (9 starts) against the AL Central, Glasnow is 3-2 with a 1.85 ERA (58.1IP, 12ER), posting a .179 (37-for207) opponent average and a 0.91 WHIP…min. 50.0 innings, his 1.85 ERA against the division since the beginning of the 2018 season is third-lowest among all MLB starters, behind only LAA Shohei Ohtani (1.62) and HOU Justin Verlander (1.71).

ONE OF A KIND — Following his last start on 8/26 vs. New York-AL (W, 6.0IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 4SO), Glasnow has made two starts this season working 6.0 innings while allowing one hit or fewer (also 6/9 vs. TEX – W, 6.0IP, 1H, 1ER, 3BB, 6SO). He is the seventh Rays pitcher (8th instance) to have multiple starts in a season working 6.0+ innings while allowing one hit or fewer, joining Chris Archer (2GS in 2015), Nathan Eovaldi (3GS in 2018), Matt Garza (2GS in 2010), Jake Odorizzi (2x: 3GS in 2014 and 2017), Drew Smyly (2GS in 2016) and Blake Snell (2x: 3GS in 2018, 2 GS in 2019).

BLIP ON THE RADAR — Despite allowing seven runs (5ER) across 6.0 innings on 8/19 at Los Angeles-AL, Glasnow ranks among the AL (min. 50.0IP) since 6/25 in opponent AVG (1st, .188), WHIP (1st, 0.91), strikeouts (2nd, 81), strikeout rate (2nd, 33.6%), ERA (3rd, 2.35), SO/9.0 IP (3rd, 11.89), SO/BB ratio (6th, 5.79) and HR/9.0 IP (6th, 0.73).

KEEP ON WORKING — He has thrown at least 6.0+ innings in a career-best seven straight starts since 7/15…this includes three straight starts of 7.0 innings from 7/20-31, matching the longest such streak of his career (also 5/26-6/8, 2021)…other than Glasnow, no Rays pitcher has thrown 7.0+ innings in three straight starts since Charlie Morton (3GS) from 5/30-6/10, 2019. If he works 6.0 innings tonight, he will surpass Zach Eflin (7GS from 5/4-6/6) for the longest such streak by a Rays pitcher this season. It is the fifth-longest active such run in the majors behind SD Joe Musgrove (9GS), PHI Zack Wheeler (9GS), SEA Luis Castillo (8GS) and MIN Sonny Gray (8GS). Since the beginning of the 2018 season, only two Rays pitchers have thrown 6.0+ innings in eight straight starts: Shane McClanahan (13GS: 5/11-7/26, 2022) and Charlie Morton (8GS: 5/25-7/2, 2019).

STRIKEOUT ARTIST — Glasnow’s 32.6% strikeout rate since making his season debut on 5/27 (min. 300BF) leads the AL, ahead of TOR Kevin Gausman (31.3%)…his 114 strikeouts are fifth most through a Rays pitcher’s first 15 starts of a season…Glasnow has a 44.2 pct. whiff rate on his breaking pitches (slider/curveball), the second-highest mark in the AL (min. 300 pitches swung at) behind BAL Kyle Gibson (46.5%). Fanned Luis Arraez on 7/25 vs. Miami for his 600th career strikeout…per Elias, he became the 15th fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach the 600-strikeout mark by innings (467.1IP). He is 16 strikeouts shy of matching Matt Moore (494SO) for the eight-most punchouts in franchise history.

CLEVELAND GUARDIANS NOTES:

WE PREFER PUT-IN-BAY OVER TAMPA BAY
The Cleveland Guardians host the Tampa Bay Rays for a 3-game set at Progressive Field…marks the final series between these teams this season after Tampa took 2 of 3 on August 11-13 at Tropicana Field…Cleveland lost in back-to-back games in walkoff fashion (9-8 and 6-5) before winning the series finale 9-2…after an 11-game losing streak from May 25, 2019 to July 24, 2021, the Guards have won 6 of their last 10 games against the Rays…in the Terry Francona era, Cleveland is 29-32 against Tampa Bay and 13-16 at Progressive Field…the Guards are 101-76 all-time against the Rays.

The last time Tampa played in Cleveland was the 2022 AL Wild Card Series…in Game 1, SHANE BIEBER (7.2IP, 3H, 1R/ER, HR, BB, 8SO) and Shane McClanahan (7.0IP, 7H, 2R/ER, 5SO) dueled with JOSÉ RAMÍREZ’s 2-run home run pushing Cleveland to a 2-1 win…Game 2 lasted 15 innings, with the only run of the contest coming via a walk-off home run from OSCAR GONZALEZ that sent the Guards to the ALDS to face the New York Yankees.

FEELING A LITTLE HOMER HAPPY
After a 24-game stretch where they hit 13 total home runs, the Guardians have hit 14 home runs in their last 9 games since August 22, including 4 games with multiple home runs…Cleveland has homered in each of their last 9 games, marking the first such streak of 9-or-more games with a home run by the Guards since August 15-September 6, 2021 when they homered in 20 straight games, a club record…the Guards 9-game homer streak is the longest active home run streak in the AL and 3rd-longest active streak in MLB, trailing Atlanta (12) and Philadelphia (13).

On Tuesday, BO NAYLOR (23 years, 189 days) became the youngest Cleveland player to homer in 3 straight starts since Manny Ramírez in 1995…if he homers in his next start, he would become the second-youngest Clevelander to hit a home run in 4 straight starts, only older than Jeff Heath (23 years, 171 days) who turned the trick in 1938…JOSH NAYLOR is the only other Guardians hitter to homer in 3 straight starts this season (May 12- 14), and the last Guardians hitter to hit a home run in 4 straight starts was JOSÉ RAMÍREZ from July 25-28, 2019.

SEEING CLEARLY WITH 20/20 VISION
In 2023, JOSÉ RAMÍREZ has 21 home runs and 21 steals, marking his fifth season of 20-or-more homers and 20-or-more steals…his 5 seasons of 20-or-more homers and steals are the most in club history, ahead of Grady Sizemore (4), and tied for the most among active players with LAA’s Mike Trout…he ranks T10th in MLB history for most such seasons and he has turned the trick in each of his last 5 full seasons (2018-19, ‘21-23)…Ramírez (213 HR, 196SB) is also 4 stolen bases away from tallying 200+ home runs and stolen bases…if he steals 4 more bases before his birthday on September 17th, he would join Trout as the only active MLB players to join the 200-200 club at age 30-or-younger…would also be the 10th player in MLB history to join the 200-200 club at age 30-or-younger.

He is one home run away from tying Andre Thornton (214) for 8th-most in club history…Larry Doby (215) sits at 7th-most in franchise history, while Carlos Santana and Hal Trosky (216) are T6th-most…with 3 more RBI, he will tie Lou Boudreau (740) for 12th-most in club history.

THE GUARDIANS’ ANGELS
Yesterday, the Guardians were awarded LUCAS GIOLITO, REYNALDO LÓPEZ and MATT MOORE via waivers.from the Los Angeles Angels…Giolito is 7-11 with a 4.45 ERA (76ER/153.2IP) this season in 27 starts, ranking among AL pitchers in strikeouts (165, 7th) and batting average (.238, 10th)…since May 14, López has posted a 2.09 ERA (9ER/38.2IP) while limiting hitters to a .180 average (25-for-139)…Moore is 4-1 with a 2.66 ERA (13ER/44.0IP) in 41 games, while holding hitters to a .208 average.

TONIGHT’S STARTER – #47 CAL QUANTRILL RHP

QUANTRILL AT HOME
W-L ERA G GS IP H R ER BB SO
2023 1-4 6.67 6 6 29.2 37 22 22 12 16
Career 21-7 3.56 68 52 305.2 281 127 121 81 226

QUANTRILL’S MLB CAREER
W-L ERA G GS IP H R ER BB SO
2023 2-6 6.45 13 13 67.0 83 49 48 22 38
Career 33-22 3.90 126 88 538.0 527 255 233 152 407

TONIGHT’S START
The 28-year-old right-hander is returning from his second stint on the Injured List to make his 14th start of the season, seventh at home, in the opener of this 3-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays…missed 48 games during this stint on the IL due to right shoulder inflammation, the most time he’s missed due to injury in his career…the 5-year veteran has missed 72 games this season over two stints on the Injured List, both with right shoulder inflammation…was sidelined from June 2-30 earlier this season.

He’s seeking his first win since May 7 against Minnesota, working 7.0-shutout innings on one hit with 4 punchouts and 3 walks in that outing…has made 5 quality starts in 13 outings this season, however, is looking for his first quality start since May 13 against Los Angeles-AL (6.0IP, 6H, 3R/ER, 1HR, 3BB, 2SO).

LAST TIME OUT
Quantrill made 4 starts during his rehab assignment, 3 with Columbus and one with Akron…he went 1-2 with a 7.64 ERA (15ER/17.2IP) with 14 strikeouts and 8 walks across his 4 starts… in his most recent outing on August 26 with Triple-A Columbus, he earned the win, allowing 2 earned runs on 5 hits with 6 strikeouts and 2 walks over 7.1 innings…the righty retired 15 of the first 16 batters he faced heading into the 6th frame…he faced some trouble in the 6th after 2 singles and a walk loaded the bases with 2 outs…he escaped the jam, getting Austin Allen to groundout… Quantrill led off the eighth inning with a walk and was relieved after allowing a single, putting runners on 1st and 2nd…both runners would eventually score, his only marks on the day.

TAMPA BAY, I’M READY TODAY
This will be his fourth career start against Tampa Bay, owning a 1-0 record with a 2.08 ERA (4ER/17.1IP) against the Rays…he’s worked 5.0-or-more innings with 2-or-fewer earned runs allowed in all 3 of his starts against the club…in his most recent start against the Rays on September 29, 2022, he allowed one run (earned) on 3 hits with 4 strikeouts and one walk…has made a quality start in 2 of his 3 outings against Tampa Bay…opposing hitters for the Rays are batting .167 (10-for-60) across his 3 starts…hasn’t allowed 5-or-more hits in all 3 of his starts against Tampa Bay.

Quantrill has 19 appearances (15 starts) against the AL East, possessing a 4-3 record with a 4.30 ERA (42ER/88.0IP)…he’s 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA (10ER/11.2IP) against the division this season… suffered the loss at Baltimore on May 30, after allowing 8 earned runs on 8 hits over 4.1 innings…did not factor into his decision on May 1 at New York-AL, despite allowing 2 runs (earned) on 6 hits over 7.1 innings…in 4 appearances against the division as a reliever, he owns a 3.60 ERA (2ER/5.0IP)…3 of those 4 appearances came in a 4-game series against the New York Yankees from April 22-25, 2021.

PROGRESSIVE FIELD’S PRO
In 50 games/40 starts at Progressive Field, Quantrill possesses a 15-4 record with a 3.36 ERA (88ER/235.2IP) with 164 strikeouts…among hurlers with 20-or-more starts at Progressive Field since it opened in 1994, he holds the ballpark’s 3rd-highest win percentage (.789), behind Mark Clark (12-3, .800) and Orel Hershiser (21-5, .808). Earlier this season, his 14-game home win streak was snapped after suffering the loss to Seattle on April 8, ending the longest home win streak in Progressive Field history…entering this season, he had not lost a start at home since September 9, 2019 when he was with San Diego, a span of 36 starts…overall, he boasts a 21-7 record with a 3.56 ERA (121ER/305.2IP) across

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