MLB Opening Day Countdown Series – Tampa Bay Rays


Tampa Bay Rays

2017 Record: (80-82) 3rd in the AL East

Off Season Transactions:


Evan Longoria to San Francisco for Denard Span, Christrian Arroyo, Stephen Woods, and Matt Krook.

Projected Starting Rotation:

Chris Archer – There are a lot of rumors surrounding Archer this off season in potential trade talks to various teams. He is a really good pitcher with great stuff when he is on. Last year he was dealing with an injury that caused him to lose velocity and as a factor he got touched up a bit in that span. Coming into this year healthy he should be a good DFS option with upside as he has great strikeout stuff. The only thing that I worry about is not getting the points for the Win as the Rays are going to struggle to score runs this year.

Jake Odorizzi – He isn’t going to be someone we are going to pitch this year ever but there will be times where he can stack or take hitters against Odorizzi. He gives up quite a bit of hard contact, fly balls and isn’t a threat to strike a ton of hitters out.

Blake Snell – In the right matchups we are going to be able to consider Snell as a pitching option. He has shown the strikeout ability in the Minor leagues but that never really translated to the Major leagues where he has had about a 22% K percentage compared to around 30% in the Minors. The minor league numbers made him an interesting tournament option last year due to the strikeout upside. In his last start of the year he K’d 13 hitters in 7 innings. We will have to make sure we keep an eye on Snell early this year because he will be pretty cheap I think and if he worked hard in the off season he could have some high strikeout games.

Jake Faria – This guy last year had really good AAA numbers before he was called up to pitch in the bigs. He pitched pretty well in the bigs last year as well. His strikeout numbers dropped but he was still able to put together solid outings. We will also have to keep an eye on Faria to see how he has progressed in the offseason but he makes a solid option usually on slates he pitches.

Matt Andriese – He isn’t going to be someone were going to want to pitch but definitely can consider hitters against him.


A bunch of solid guys in the bullpen that don’t give up a whole lot of damage.

Starting Lineup:

Kevin Kiermaier (OF) – I really liked to roster this guy last year because he bats at the top of the order for the Rays offense that always has potential to explode. He has the ability to hit for power and steal bases. A solid option and usually isn’t too expensive.

Denard Span (OF) – Traded from the Giants and is a serviceable MLB player. He has games where he explodes but I never really consider him and I’ll let him beat me one day than chase the monster game.

Corey Dickerson – All-Star start to the year last year and then had a bad 2nd half of the season. Still hit .280 and had almost 30 home runs. Cold streaks happen in baseball and I am not worried about him. Should be a solid play every day.

Steven Souza – Reverse splits hitter so you’re going to want to play him vs righties more than lefties. He hit 27 of his 30 home runs last year vs righties and has an ISO of over .100 points more vs righties than vs lefties.

Brad Miller – Probably not a guy you will want to target a lot.

Matt Duffy (3B) – Injured all last year but is ready to go this year. Hits for average but doesn’t hit for power or drive in many runs. I will stay away from him.

Ryan Schimpft (2B) – A 2nd base option who you take just praying he hits a home run as it’s pretty much HR or nothing as he has a career batting average in the bigs of .195 to pair with 34 home runs in 142 games.

Aediny Hechavarria (SS) – I don’t mind him. He is a decent hitter and at a weak position he is actually probably a decent option. He had a couple hot streaks I rode last year.

Wilson Ramos (C) – He is a good punt option at catcher when you feel like you want to pay down.

Playing Field:

Tropicana Field

Ball Park Factor- 23rd

Really just a pitcher’s park in general that was above average in triples hit there but really limited home runs and doubles drastically.

“Must Knows” of the Tampa Bay Rays going into 2018 MLB DFS:

The Tampa Bay Rays had the 3rd highest strikeout percentage in the league at 25% and was a great team to use pitchers against. With the loss of Evan Longoria who had only a 16% strikeout percentage in 2017 and the addition of Denard Span who had a 13% strikeout percentage in 2017 I don’t see much changing here making the Rays still a great team to use Pitchers against for high upside games.