Dodgers @ Rays May 22, 2019: Hill vs. Stanek

After a solid 7-3 win last night, the Dodgers look to take both games of this short series against the Rays. Rich Hill will take the mound coming off a dominant start against the Reds. The Rays will open the game with the right-handed Ryne Stanek. The Dodgers were able to score off the opener Hunter Wood last night, so it’ll be interesting to see if it plays out more in the Rays favor today.

Dodgers
Rays
4:10 p.m.
Tampa Bay
LF
Pederson
DH
Garcia
1B
Muncy
LF
Pham
3B
Turner
1B
Choi
RF
Bellinger
SS
Adames
SS
Seager
3B
Robertson
C
Martin
CF
Kiermaier
CF
Verdugo
C
D’Arnaud
DH
Beaty RF Heredia
2B
Hernández
2B
Lowe
P
Hill (L)
P
Stanek (R)

The right-handed opener against the Dodgers is an interesting decision. The Dodgers have a 116 wRC+ against right-handed pitching this season, good for third in baseball. Granted, they have a 114 wRC+ against LHP, but that’s the result of having an overall top tier offense. Against RHP, Bellinger has a 252 wRC+, Pederson 175, Turner 137, and Muncy 123 — the first four batters of the game.

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Hill (3.00 ERA, 4.61 FIP, 1.05 WHIP) is coming off his best start of the season, allowing only two hits over six innings striking out ten against the Reds. The Rays offense is better than the Reds, but Hill does this thing every year where he is awful and then lights out. Hopefully after the Cincinnati start, he’ll be going on one of those dominant stretches. The Rays offense against left-handed pitching is less than ideal. They rank 18th in wRC+ (90) against LHP, 21st in wOBA (.301), and first in strikeout rate at a startling 30.7%. Throughout his entire career, Hill has also avoided matchup splits, typically being just as tough against right-handed batters as he is against LHB. This is should be a good matchup for Hill.

Stanek will be opening for the Rays for the 13th time this season. His current mark of 12 starts leads all of baseball. He also has only thrown 24.1 innings to get an idea of how Tampa Bay typically uses him. The right-hander throws hard. Among all pitchers who’ve thrown at least 20 innings, his 97.8 MPH average fastball velocity is third in baseball. He mixes in a tough slider and splitter for his off-speeds, both sitting in the upper 80’s.

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In other news, Kenta Maeda is on his way back.

Maeda will start the finale in Pittsburgh, freeing up Clayton Kershaw to start the first game of next week’s homestand.

It’s a miracle!

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Pedro Baez doesn’t appear to be available today, but seemingly did avoid major injury.

His post-game x-rays last night were negative.

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First pitch is at 4:10 PM P.T. on SNLA.

About Allan Yamashige

Allan Yamashige
Just a guy living in Thousand Oaks, CA who happens to love the Dodgers and statistics. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about adults doing baseball is alright.