Britton made his major league debut against the Rays last time the two teams met. He has made five since and the results are still good, although his ERA (2.63) overstates just how good. As expected, Britton is getting groundballs (over 50 percent), but the strikeouts haven’t been there just yet (under five per nine innings pitched). The Rays didn’t have Evan Longoria last time, but they did have Manny Ramirez. This looks like a tough matchup, luckily, the Rays have James Shields going.
I wrote this for the first start against Guthrie:
Guthrie really works off the fastball, which sits around 91-93 MPH but can shoot up to the mid-90s when needed. He throws two pitches against righties, his fastball and a slider –which gets whiffs and grounders alike— while adding a changeup against lefties. Despite the change, he is considerably better against same-handed batters (700 OPS versus righties and 793 versus lefties over the last three seasons). Once a guy gets on base, he’ll curb the fastball usage just a bit. Shouldn’t be too much of a hassle with the Rays’ ability to stack left-handed batters against him early and often.
And he went out and threw the game of his life. So read that, then pretend that everything I wrote is a lie.
Bergesen has issues with left-handed hitters. He tends to be more of a groundball guy than he has shown this season, but that could be because of a small sample size. He works off his low-90s fastball and will sling a slider and change depending on who is up. Frankly, the Rays should be able to touch him up, but you never know.
Pitcher Name THR LHOPS RHOPS Koji Uehara RH 744 627 Kevin Gregg RH 646 707 Mike Gonzalez LH 718 634 Jim Johnson RH 666 654 Jeremy Accardo* RH 779 571 Jason Berken RH 840 858 Josh Rupe* RH 806 833 Brad Bergesen RH 829 733 (Three-year samples used when possible) *Career numbers because of small sample size in recent years
(Favors means the split is +/- .020 points)
Matchup favors LHB: Uehara, Gonzalez, Accardo, Bergesen
Matchup favors RHB: Gregg, Rupe
Matchup is a push: Johnson, Berken