The Tampa Bay Rays are now starting a 2-game series up in Toronto to take on the Jays during which they hope to gain ground on the two leading American League East division teams, New York and Boston. Despite a somewhat sluggish start through April and May, they’ve started to gain ground on New York and Boston as they’re now 6 1/2 games behind the Yankees, and only 2 1/2 behind the Red Sox having won 5 of their last 6. Yet there are injury concerns that the Rays face heading into the thick of the season.
Starting with pitcher Matt Andriese who will be sidelined for some time, the Rays are going to be paying close attention to their bullpen and the young rookies who could be filling in for him. Taking the mound tonight for them will be Jake Faria, the rookie out of Cerritos, CA who has one win to his name so far and an era of 1.42. He will be facing Marco Estrada who is 4-4 on the season so far with an ERA of 4.04.
The Rays will also be making some changes in their lineup at shortstop with Tim Beckham being unable to participate due to a nagging knee injury, so taking his place tonight will be Daniel Robertson. The Rays will try to maximize on their opportunities tonight and tomorrow before taking on Detroit in a 4-game series starting Thursday. Their next off day will be on Thursday June 22 after wrapping up a series in Cincinnati and heading off to Baltimore. The Rays have outscored opponents 38-30 in their last 6 games and so far have a +13 run score differential in the season overall.