Preview: Rays at Braves, Game 1

Photo courtesy of Yahoo! sports

The two squads leave St. Petersburg behind to venture to Truist Park for games 3 & 4 of the home-and-home series. Hopefully the Braves home opener looks nothing like either game at Tampa’s Tropicana Field, where the Braves went 0-2 and were outscored 19-7. The Braves are 2-3 on the young season, while Tampa Bay enters the game with a record of 4-1.

This game SHOULD be similar, in terms of runs scored, to the Braves first game against the Mets. In that game Mike Soroka squared off against 2-Time Cy Young Jacob deGrom in a 1-0 Mets victory.

Mike Soroka takes the mound tonight for his second start of the 2020 season, against the Rays & Charlie Morton. Soroka enters the contest with an ERA of 0.00 with a no-decision in his only start in 2020. In 2019, he ranked in the 84th percentile in Major League Baseball in barrel percentage (the higher the number, the better), the 65th percentile in exit velocity, but only in the 28th percentile in whiff percentage. Translation: batters don’t swing and completely miss a lot compared to the rest of MLB’s pitchers, but they rarely make solid contact against Soroka.

The Braves lineup for tonight is as follows:

1. Ronald Acuña Jr. RF

2. Ozzie Albies 2B

3. Freddie Freeman 1B

4. Marcell Ozuna LF

5. Matt Adams DH

6. Travis d’Arnaud C

7. Dansby Swanson SS

8. Austin Riley 3B

9. Ender Inciarte CF

Charlie Morton enters with a record of 0-1 and an ERA of 13.50 through 4 innings in his last & only 2020 start. Morton was smack dab in the middle of Cy Young talks for much of last season, posting a 16-6 record with a 3.05 ERA over 194.2 innings and 240 strikeouts.

The Rays lineup for tonight is as follows:

1. Brandon Lowe 2B

2. Joey Wendle 3B

3. Yandy Díaz 1B

4. Yoshi Tsutsugo DH

5. Manuel Margot LF

6. Kevin Kiermaier CF

7. Hunter Renfroe RF

8. Willy Adames SS

9. Mike Zunino C


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