Did last night’s blown lead crush your soul? Then, we have just what the doctor ordered.
A pitchers’ duel is set for this afternoon between Dylan Cease and Shane McClanahan. Cease, who finished second in Cy Young voting last season, enters today with a 2.01 ERA and 2-0 record. In his four starts, he has struck out 29 and walked 12. So far, Cease does not lead the league in walks issued, which is a win for the right-handed pitcher. His 86 mph slider remains his most-used pitch, at 42%. He is throwing his 95.5 mph 4-seamer slightly less than last season, at around 36%. This, however, is unsurprising due to the 5% increase in usage rate of his curve. Run support is going to be hard to come by with the way his opponent has pitched, so Cease will need to limit his free passes in this outing.
Opposite Cease this afternoon is McClanahan, who finished sixth in Cy Young voting last season. The southpaw is 4-0 this season with a 1.57 ERA. In his 23 innings of work he has struck out 27 and walked 11. McClanahan’s 97 mph 4-seam fastball usage is up 13% this season, currently at 49%. This is also the pitch that he will utilize the most when he has two strikes on batters. The ace of this Rays staff also has a changeup, curve, and slider in his arsenal. Left-handed batters have yet to see the changeup. McClanahan does, however, throw the change at a 26.7% to right-handed opponents.
The keys for the White Sox this afternoon are becoming common ones for the South Siders. The first, score in more than one inning. The second, the bullpen needs to shut it down. Pedro Grifol is shaking the lineup up in Tampa, with Elvis in the leadoff spot. The rest of the lineup is below.
The Rays will look to remain undefeated at home with these guys:
First pitch is at 3:05 p.m. CST. You can watch the game on FOX or listen on ESPN 1000.