The Pittsburgh Pirates (20-9) begin a major three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays (23-6).
The Pirates suffered a brutal game-three defeat against the Washington Nationals last Sunday by a score of 7-2 after Johan Oviedo failed to make it out of the third inning.
The Pirates’ offense sputtered against Josiah Gray but showed some positive signs out of their bullpen, with Jose Hernandez pitching two scoreless frames.
This series against the Rays already has a major buzz around the nation, and even some are quantifying it as a “potential World Series matchup”
First pitch in Tampa is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. You can watch all of the action on AT&T Sportsnet, or listen to the game on the Pirates radio network, 93.7 The Fan.
N/A, Tropicana Field is a dome.
The Pirates will send out RHP Roansy Contreras (3-1, 3.58 ERA)
Contreras’ last start on April 26 against the Los Angeles Dodgers was a gem. In six full innings pitched, Contreras gave up two hits, no earned runs, two walks, and struck out five on 87 pitches (55 strikes).
Contreras didn’t have a ton of swing-and-miss stuff against the Dodgers, with only eight, but he kept the hard-hit balls to a minimum with an average exit velocity of 89.3 throughout the game.
The young righty had an even mix of sliders and four-seams against the Dodger, with each registering at 46% for usage, and he topped out at 95.6 mph on his four-seam.
Contreras has faced the Rays once (one start) and holds an 0-0 record with an ERA of 1.80.
The Rays will send out RHP Javy Guerra (0-0, 8.64 ERA).
From all accounts, it seems like Guerra will serve as an opener for the Rays Tuesday night.
Guerra’s last appearance was on April 23 against the Boston Red Sox, where he pitched 1.2 innings out of the pen and gave up five earned runs on four hits, three walks, and struck out two.
Prior to his bad outing against the Red Sox, Guerra had given up three earned runs in 6.2 innings pitched (seven games).
Guerra offers an even three-pitch mix with a slider (36.8%), sinker (33.1%), and a four-seam (30.1%). His slider and sinker have cost him, with his slider giving up a .400 opponent average and his sinker giving up a .364 average.
Guerra has never faced the Pirates before.
Interesting Batting Match Ups
- Isaac Paredes: 1-1 with a double and walk against Contreras
- Randy Arozarena: 0-3 with a strikeout against Contreras
- No current Pirates hitter has faced Guerra.
- The Pirates have taken first place in the National League with 148 RBIs driven in as a team. The Dodgers are a close second with 147. In addition, the Pirates are fourth in all of MLB.
- In terms of runs scored the Pirates have 156, which places them first in the National League and fourth overall. The Chicago Cubs are right behind the Pirates with 151.
- With 41 stolen bases as a team, the Pirates have built a cushion of six from the Cleveland Guardians for first overall in MLB. Ji-Hwan Bae leads the team with 11 and is in second place behind Ronald Acuna with 13.
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