Chilly Weather Should Keep Scoring Down in Rays-White Sox Matinee

blake snell rays

Matthew Jordan

Monday, April 9, 2018 10:47 PM GMT

Monday, Apr. 9, 2018 10:47 PM GMT

Just one matinee on Tuesday’s AL schedule as the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox play the second of their three-game set at 2:15 ET on the South Side.

Tampa Bay Rays (2-8) at Chicago White Sox (3-6)Free MLB Pick: UnderBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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The Rays are the kings of matinee baseball so far. They are on a nine-game road trip, which started against the Yankees – the April 2 matchup was postponed -- and then to Boston before Chicago. Because the weather is rather wintry in the Windy City, Monday’s opener was moved from 8:10 p.m. ET to 2:10. That means every game on this Rays trip will be a matinee because Wednesday’s finale also is at 2:10. The weather doesn’t look much better on Tuesday with temperatures in the mid-40s, although there’s zero chance of precipitation so it will be played.

Tampa Bay has looked terrible in the early going, but should we really be surprised? This penny-pinching organization traded franchise icon Evan Longoria (due $13.5 million this season), 2017 team MVP Steven Souza ($3.55 million) and solid starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi (6.3 million for prospects. Even more shocking, the club simply designated All-Star Corey Dickerson ($5.95 million) for assignment.

Outfielder Kevin Kiermaier ripped the team after these moves in the spring, saying: "I am 100 percent frustrated and very upset with the moves. No beating around the bush. It's one of those things that makes you scratch your head, you don't know the reasoning why. And then you see the team's explanation and still it's just like, 'OK, well, so be it.'" Starter Chris Archer said the decision to designate Dickerson for assignment was "perplexing.” Archer could be the next to go as he would bring a huge haul of prospects back.

To be fair to Rays ownership, the club plays in the worst stadium in American sports and draws flies. The White Sox started their full-blown rebuild before last season by trading away Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, among others. The Pale Hose could be good again as soon as next year with all their excellent young talent acquired.

Tampa Bay won its first road game of the season in Monday’s opener, 5-4, while the White Sox are now 0-4 at home.

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Sunshine or snow... @thisisdspan brings it.#RaysUp pic.twitter.com/hJM9Gct7he

— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 9, 2018
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Probable Pitchers: Snell vs. Fulmer

One building block for the Rays going forward is 25-year-old lefty Blake Snell (0-1, 5.00), once considered one of the top prospects in baseball. Snell has made 45 career starts in the majors and is 11-16 with a 3.88 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. He can be a bit wild at times as evidenced by his five walks in nine innings this season. Because of control, Snell can struggle to go deep in games. He lasted only 5.2 innings in his season debut vs. the Red Sox despite not allowing a run and three hits. It was just 3.1 innings last time out at the Yankees, surrendering five runs.

Snell has thrown 9 1/3 career innings vs. the White Sox and is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. He has given up seven hits and struck out five. Just one White Sox player has an extra-base hit off him: Tim Anderson, who has a double in four at-bats.

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Top photo 9:03am CT, bottom photo 11:36am CT. Great work by @whitesox grounds crew. #WhiteSox pic.twitter.com/5XXKVYuB4z

— Andy Masur (@Andy_Masur1) April 9, 2018
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It’s 24-year-old right-hander Carson Fulmer for Chicago. He wasn’t very good this spring but won the fifth starter’s job, although some think he’ll end up as a reliever. Fulmer took a no-decision in his season debut last Thursday in Toronto, allowing three runs and five hits over five, striking out five. Control also can be a problem for him as Fulmer has a career BB/9 rate of 4.73.

Fulmer, who like Snell debuted in 2016, is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two career innings vs. Tampa. Only three current Rays have faced him. Denard Span, who came over in the Longoria trade, is 0-for-2 with a walk and strikeout. The Rays have lost first baseman Brad Miller to the DL. He was hurt Sunday as he started out of the batter's box on a fifth-inning single. Miller is hitting .222 with a home run and five RBIs this season.

  • Under is 4-0-1 in Fulmer’s last 5 starts overall.
  • Under is 5-1 in Snell’s last 6 starts vs. a team with a losing record.

Hard to trust either pitcher here with their wildness, but the cold weather and weak lineups – Rays are near the bottom in runs and the White Sox have totaled just five runs in their past three games -- makes the ‘under’ the best call for a Tuesday MLB pick.

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