Image licensed from USA Today Sports
The Tampa Bay Rays return from the All-Star break with a 7-6 victory over the Atlanta Braves in the first game of a three-game interleague series between the two. Tampa Bay is in second place in the American League East, after the Boston Red Sox with 1 ½ game. The Rays have won seven of the last eight to stay close to the top of the division rankings. On Sunday, Tampa Bay will play without position players Michael Brosseau and Manuel Margot, while the Rays have 9 pitches on the list of injured.
Atlanta’s defeat to Tampa Bay on Friday after the All Star break was the second straight setback for the Braves. Atlanta is 44-46 and third in the National League East 4 games behind first-place New York Mets and one game behind second-place Philadelphia Phillies. Brave’s injury list includes position players Ronald Acuna Jr., Travis d’Arnaud, Alex Jackson and Marcell Ozuna. Atlanta also plays without 5 pitcher.
Pitching And Timely frames keep beams tight
That Tampa Bay Rays owns the 7th best team ERA at 3.52 and has the third best WHIP at 1.13. The Rays allow opposing hitters to average .225 on the plate, which is the sixth best in baseball. Josh Fleming has seven wins to lead Tampa Bay, and Tyler Glasnow is leading in strikes with 123, but remains sideways with a partial UCL tear. Left-handed Rich Hill gets the nod on the mound Sunday against Tampa Bay. Hill is 6-4 with a 3.74 ERA and 87 strikes.
Tampa Bay has struggled to beat the average as the Rays are 24th at .231 and have the 16th best slugging percentage at .397, but timely riding has allowed the Rays to score the eighth most runs with 447. Austin Meadows has had an excellent first half of the season with 23 doubles, 16 home runs and 61 RBIs. Meadows are leaders in Tampa Bay in both doubles and RBI. The leading homemade hitter for Tampa Bay is Brandon Lowe with 21. In 91 games played, Tampa Bay has hit 111 home runs.
Braves adds Pederson and Vogt
That Atlanta Braves has acquired catcher Stephen Vogt and outfielder Joc Pederson over the past two days to help bolster their defense and strength at the plate. Atlanta lost its best all-round performer Ronald Acuna Jr to an ACL tear, and the Braves have the 15th best team’s beats average of .238, but will miss Acuna’s power. Atlanta has a .427 slugging percentage, which is the 7th best in baseball and has scored the 11th most runs with 426. Freddie Freeman leads Atlanta at home with 20 and Ozzie Albies is leading in RBIs with 61.
Atlanta’s pitchers have averaged this season with the 15th best team ERA at 4.26, the 18th best WHIP at 1.32, and the Braves pitching holding opposite hitters to an average of .244 on the record, which is 18. Charlie Morton leads Atlanta in wins with 8 and strikes with 122. Atlanta delivers the ball to Drew Smyly on Sunday. This season, the left-hander is 7-3 with a 4.48 ERA and 68 strikes.
- Atlanta is 3-14 in the last 17 interleague games
- The Braves are 0-8 in the last eight inter-league games at home
- Tampa Bay is 7-3 in its last 10 interleague games
- The Rays are 27-11 in the final 38 against a team from the National League East