Previewing Indians vs. Rays Wild Card Game

The Indians vs. the Rays will be a good game and could come down to the last inning. Both teams are hot right now with the Indians winning 10 straight to secure the top wild card spot and the Rays have won 8 of their last 10 including a BIG win to get them into they playoffs against Texas.

Some keys  for the Indians to win is to…

1. Get to Alex Cobb early because when he pitches more than 6 innings he has a 1.95 ERA, a 1.00HIPp(walks + hits per innings pitched) and his team has a record of 11-4. But when Cobb goes less then 6 innings he has a 5.40 ERA, a 1.69 WHIP and his team his has a record of 3-4. So if your the Indians you want to get Cobb out as soon as possible.

2. Danny Salazar to throw something other then his fastball. Salazar has one of the best fastballs in the game but his off speed stuff isn’t as good. His fastball can reach speeds of 100 mph and that alone is hard to hit. If Salazar can get his changeup and slider to work he is almost unhitable. If Salazar can throw his fastball for 100 mph, get his changeup to move and reach 85 mph while throwing a 92 mph slider the Indians will get the win for sure.

3. Can Swisher stay hot? In the first 122 games of the season Swisher was hitting a mediocre .239 with 15 home runs and 46 RbIs. These last 23 games Swisher has been hitting .284 with 7 home runs and 17 RBIs. If Swisher can stay hot, it might just be enough to get the Indians to the Division series against Boston.

 

Keys for the Rays to win is to…

1. Can Evan Longoria play good at Progressive field? Longoria is batting .175 in 17 career games at Progressive field. Some good news for Rays fans is Longoria is hot these last 6 games batting .400 with 3 home runs and 10 RBIs.

2. If Chris Perez pitches for the Indians the Rays have to take advantage. Perez has struggled mightily recently including giving up 4 runs on 4 hits in 2/3 innings against Minnesota. If Manager Terry Francona decides to play Perez the Rays would be wise to take advantage of it.

3. Is Desmond Jennings healthy enough to play? He has been nursing a hamstring injury and has been limited so far but if he is healthy enough to play he might just be the boost Tampa is looking for. Jennings has been hitting .252 with 14 home runs and 54 RBIs.

 

Prediction…

The game comes down to bullpens as Rays starter Alex Cobb goes 6 innings and Tribe starter Danny Salazar goes 6 2/3 innings. A big at-bat from Evan Longoria puts the Rays up 4-3 in the top of the 8th inning. But in the bottom of the 8th Jason Kipnis hits a 2 run home run putting the Indians ahead 5-4. In the Bottom of the 9th Indians manager Terry Francona uses Justin Masterson to get the save to send the Indians to the Division series against Terry’s former club the Boston Redsox.

Final Score…

Indians  5

Rays  4

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