The Rays are in a slide, and today's game doesn't look like it's going to be any easier for them. The Rays lost yesterday to the Tigers, dropping their seventh game out of their last 10, and today they face off against ace Justin Verlander.
To say that the Rays have been sluggish on offense recently would be an understatement; they've averaged three runs a game over the past week and a half, and were held to just one run through the first eight innings of last night's game. Justin Verlander (2.96 ERA, 3.25 FIP) is the sheer definition of an ace starter -- high strikeout totals, overpowering fastball, nasty curveball, etc. -- so my assumption is that the Rays will be begging for baserunners tonight. Verlander's already thrown one no-hitter this season and come close to throwing another, and with the Rays' history of being no-hit, tonight's game could be depressing if you're a Rays fan.
Facing Verlander will be Wade Davis (3.47 ERA, 4.83 FIP), who had struggled during some recent starts before pitting seven solid innings against the Blue Jays last time out. He's still striking out only a handful of batters (4.11 K/9) and he's walking a high number of hitters (4.11 BB/9), but he has been able to induce weak contact when his command has been spot-on. Davis will need to be on top of his game tonight if the Rays are going to win.
Tonight's game is scheduled for 7:05 PM.