Fresh off a series win against the New York Mets, the Jays leave home for Florida to take on the division rival Tampa Bay Rays. The Jays will be looking to make up some ground on the second place Rays and could overtake them for second with a sweep. Let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet, though, because it's hard enough to beat mediocre teams and the Rays aren't exactly a pushover.
Tonight, the Jays send Kyle Drabek to the mound. Kyle's season has been a bit up-and-down thus far but he's coming off a start against the Yankees in which (in my eyes, at least) he was quite effective at keeping the ball down. Kyle's walk-rate thus far leaves something to be desired (5.4 BB/9) but his knack for inducing grounders (60% of all batted balls) has helped him keep the damage to a minimum (3.30 ERA). Kyle does not exactly pound the zone so he is going to have his fair share of walks but, provided that he keeps the ball on the ground and lets the Jays solid infield take care of the rest, I think he's likely to continue to succeed.
Pitching for the Rays will be Jeremy Hellickson. Hellickson pitched against the Jays earlier this season (and not particularly well). Like Drabek, Hellickson's strikeout- and walk-rates don't set the world on fire. Unlike Drabek, Hellickson does not keep the ball down (41% gb-rate). Hopefully the Jays can take advantage of some mistakes up in the zone.
I've been camping the past few days so I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and seeing some baseball tonight.
Tonight's thread title comes from "Bigmouth Strikes Again" by the Smiths
As always, you know the rules: