The Tampa Bay Rays (31-29) hope their young rookie will be enough to handle the Los Angeles Angels' (30-32) star. Alex Cobb (0-0, 5.91 ERA, 5.10 FIP) will make his third start of the season today, after going 6 and 1/3 innings last Tuesday. Cobb does not have the makeup of, say, David Price, where he can dominate hitters with overpowering fastballs. Instead, he follows a Jeremy Hellickson approach, throwing softer and throwing precisely. He has a great changeup that reaches the hitters 6 mph slower than than his fastball and has thus far been a killer pitch for him.
Facing Alex Cobb, Dan Haren presents an imposing obstacle. Haren (5-3, 2.29 ERA, 2.53 FIP) has been one of the league's best starting pitchers for the last half-decade, and he appears to have no intentions of changing that in 2011. Haren has allowed more than three runs only twice this season, and given the Rays offensive struggles of late, they would be grateful for just one run.
If the Rays hope to win this game, Alex Cobb will need to perform his absolute best -- and it would not hurt to have B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria back in the lineup.
Gametime: 10:05 p.m. ET at Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Radio: WDAE 620
Television: Sun Sports HD