Houston Astros (49-25) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (33-39), June 19, 2018 7:10 PM CDT
Radio: KBME 790, La Ranchera 850 AM
Rays SBNation Blog: DRays Bay
RHP Justin Verlander (9-2, 1.61 ERA, 120 SO) vs. LHP Blake Snell (8-4, 2.58 ERA, 97 SO)
For the Astros, there's no one else the team would rather have out on the mound tonight than Verlander as they look to make franchise history tonight. Unfortunately, the task will be a difficult one as young Blake Snell is having a terrific year thus far for Tampa Bay.
There are certainly a few interesting quirks to note about the lineups that both teams have posted for tonight's game. First off, the Rays are welcoming back superstar fielder and veteran center fielder Kevin Kiermaier to the lineup by placing him in the lead off spot. This is a big moment in Tampa Bay's season, as Kiermaier was on the 60-day disabled list and will now be activated on the roster.
Second, the Houston Astros are giving Jose Altuve a rare night off and playing Alex Bregman at second base instead. Bregman showed off his versatility last night when A.J. Hinch placed him in left field, so we'll see how Bregman can handle himself on the right side of the infield tonight. This will also give the Astros a chance to offer Yuli Gurriel some more reps at third base.
Third, the Astros are definitely stacking right-handed hitters in the lineup tonight against a tough left-handed hurler in Blake Snell. Houston decided to give veterans Brian McCann and Josh Reddick as well as young outfielder Tony Kemp the night off. So far this season, right-handed hitters are hitting .213 against Snell while lefties are hitting a measly .132. The power numbers are substantially different, as Snell has given up only 1 home run to left-handed hitters while surrendering 10 long balls to right-handed hitters.
|Tampa Bay Rays||Houston Astros|
|Kevin Kiermaier - CF||George Springer - RF|
|Matt Duffy - 3B||Alex Bregman - 2B|
|Jake Bauers - 1B||Carlos Correa - SS|
|Wilson Ramos - C||Yuli Gurriel - 3B|
|Joey Wendle - 2B||Evan Gattis - DH|
|C.J. Cron - DH||Marwin Gonzalez - LF|
|Mallex Smith - LF||Max Stassi - C|
|Carlos Gomez - RF||Tyler White - 1B|
|Adeiny Hechavarria - SS||Jake Marisnick - CF|
|Blake Snell - LHP||Justin Verlander - RHP|