The Rays will turn to left-hander Ryan Yarbrough to start tomorrow evening’s AL Championship Series Game 3 against the Astros, the team announced (via Juan Toribio of MLB.com). Blake Snell and Charlie Morton got the ball for the series’ first two games, while Tyler Glasnow started last Friday’s ALDS Game 5 against the Yankees. Presumably, this sets up Glasnow to go on regular rest in Wednesday’s Game 4.
Already up 2-0 on Houston, the Rays will look to take a stranglehold on the series. They’ll turn the ball over to Yarbrough, who pitched to a 3.56 ERA/3.80 FIP in 55.2 innings during the regular season. He’s not overpowering, but the 28-year-old throws a ton of strikes and is one of the sport’s premier contact managers. Relying heavily on a cutter and changeup that break in opposite directions laterally, Yarbrough perennially avoids the barrel. He limited opponents to an 82.6MPH exit velocity on average this season, per Statcast, placing him in the 99th percentile leaguewide. That continues his years-long trend of hard contact suppression.
The Rays used Ryan Thompson as an opener in front of Yarbrough in Game 4 of the ALDS. This time, they’ll turn to him from the outset, while Houston will counter with righty José Urquidy.
I hope the Rays good fortune doesn’t run out.
They’re clearly the better team. Astros had a solid run with their offense during the ALDS, but those things don’t last. This is the one game Houston should be favored, because Tampa has limited bullpen availability. But if they do win it will be the only one.
The rays are better this and last year. Cheaters time to pay up