Series Preview: Tampa Bay Rays

After a busy week of medical school and a couple of sneaky two-game series which barely got a chance to finish up (the New York Mets two-gamer got shortened to a one-gamer!), Marlin Maniac returns to Series Preview form with a discussion of this first series of interleague play against the hated Florida rival* Tampa Bay Rays.

*We actually don’t hate them. We don’t have any opinion about them. Interleague series rivalries don’t exist, even among geographic partners.

Live Chat, Friday 7pm, Marlins vs. Rays here.

Tampa Bay Rays (25-19) @ Florida Marlins, May 20-22, Games 43-45

NL East Standings

Tm W L Win% GB
PHI 26 17 .605
FLA 24 18 .571 1.5
ATL 25 21 .543 2.5
NYM 21 22 .488 5.0
WSN 20 23 .465 6.0

Stadium: Sun Life Stadium
Five-year Run PF*: 1.01
Five-year HR PF*: 0.97
Stadium Dimensions:
Left Field: 330 ft.
Left-Center: 361
Center Field: 404
Right-Center: 361
Right Field: 345

*Five-year regressed park factors provided by Patriot here

Projected Pitching Matchups

May 20: Anibal Sanchez vs. Andy Sonnanstine
May 21: Javier Vazquez vs. David Price
May 22: Josh Johnson vs. James Shields

ZiPS In-Season Projections

ERA Proj. FIP Win% Marlins Date Nationals Win% Proj. FIP ERA
2.90 3.42 .586 Sanchez May 20 Sonnanstine .484 4.24 3.92
7.55 3.78 .548 Vazquez May 21 Price .590 3.39 3.59
1.64 2.55 .701 Johnson May 22 Shields .575 3.51 2.26

Projected Lineup

Lineup Player Current wOBA Proj. wOBA v. RHP Proj. wOBA v. LHP
1 Chris Coghlan .299 .345 .316
2 Hanley Ramirez .277 .373 .393
3 Logan Morrison .432 .376 .352
4 Gaby Sanchez .400 .350 .377
5 Mike Stanton .385 .357 .374
6 Greg Dobbs /Emilio Bonifacio .379 / .322 .322 .299
7 John Buck .320 .322 .349
8 Omar Infante .256 .310 .319


– It’s been a while since I last wrote one of these due to the busy nature of my schedule, and I apologize for that. Nevertheless, some changes needed to be made, and those changes are reflected here. Hanley Ramirez has been moved up in the order, which ironically is better for the team than having him hit third. Hitters in the second slot see fewer two-out situations, meaning their plate appearances are a little more impactful run-wise than third slot hitters. Of course, number three hitters get a few more runners but also receive fewer appearances over the course of a season. The changes really won’t make a difference within the timespan in which Edwin Rodriguez will have Ramirez hitting there, but thematically it’s the right idea, even if it is for the wrong reasons.

Logan Morrison’s return is also significant, in particular because he continues to rake upon his return. After going on the disabled list hitting .327/.424/.636, Morrison returned and cooled off down to “only” a .292/.393/.500 mark, including another home run, seven hits, and three walks in 28 PA. Ridiculous.

– Here’s the tale of the tape for the pitching matchup of the series, Johnson versus Shields on Sunday afternoon.

Player IP K% BB% GB% ERA FIP
Johnson 60 1/3 23.9 8.5 51.0 1.64 2.52
Shields 67 2/3 22.8 5.3 45.6 2.26 3.18

Both pitchers are excellent and it should be a very interesting game.

– Over at FanSided’s Rays Colored Glasses, Ben Ice says the Rays should pull the plug on tonight’s starter, Andy Sonnanstine.

– Meanwhile, at DRaysBay, jcmitchell is willing to cut Evan Longoria some slack on his so-called “slump.”

Bold Prediction: Marlins win two of three games.

Tags: Evan Longoria Hanley Ramirez James Shields Josh Johnson Logan Morrison Miami Marlins Tampa Bay Rays

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