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


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

ERAProj. FIPWin%MarlinsDateNationalsWin%Proj. FIPERA
2.903.42.586SanchezMay 20Sonnanstine.4844.243.92
7.553.78.548VazquezMay 21Price.5903.393.59
1.642.55.701JohnsonMay 22Shields.5753.512.26

Projected Lineup

LineupPlayerCurrent wOBAProj. wOBA v. RHPProj. wOBA v. LHP
1Chris Coghlan.299.345.316
2 Hanley Ramirez.277.373.393
3Logan Morrison.432.376.352
4Gaby Sanchez.400.350.377
5Mike Stanton.385.357.374
6Greg Dobbs /Emilio Bonifacio.379 / .322.322.299
7John Buck.320.322.349
8Omar 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.

Johnson60 1/323.98.551.01.642.52
Shields67 2/322.85.345.62.263.18

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.