After three days off, the Rays are to set to open the best-of-five American League Division Series tonight against the Red Sox at Tropicana Field, first pitch at 8:07.
“We’re ready to play,” manager Kevin Cash said.
Lefty Shane McClanahan, the USF product who emerged this season as the Rays’ top starter, will be on the mound, matched up against Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez.
McClanahan was 1-1, 2.81 in three starts against the Red Sox, all from Aug. 1 on.
Cash moved Brandon Lowe up to third in the Rays’ order, which is unusual when facing a lefty. But Cash may have been playing defense, knowing the Sox may switch to one of their right-handed relievers, potentially early, and want to break up the string of right-handers the Rays have in their order, along with switch-hitter Wander Franco.
Jordan Luplow is starting at first for the Rays, and having his bat in the lineup against lefty pitchers was a primary reason he was included on the 26-man roster and lefty-hitting outfielder Brett Phillips was not.
Here is the Rays lineup:
And for the Red Sox, with J.D. Martinez (ankle) available to pinch-hit, according to manager Alex Cora.
• • •
Sign up for the Rays Report weekly newsletter to get fresh perspectives on the Tampa Bay Rays and the rest of the majors from sports columnist John Romano.