Padres Series Preview: Padres Head to Tampa Bay to Battle Rays

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

The San Diego Padres start a three game series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. The Padres are currently in pretty bad form as they have lost their last three series.

The Rays are not doing so well themselves as they have not won a series in their last four series. The Rays currently sit in last place in the AL East with a 47-69 record. This should be quite an even series that can produce some lively games. Of course there are plenty of interesting things to look at in this series.

For starters it is an interleague matchup which can always be interesting. As we have seen throughout this season. Another interesting thing is the return of Wil Myers to Tampa Bay. Myers of course enjoyed success with the Rays as he won the 2013 Rookie of The Year Award. It’ll be interesting to see how Wil can do and how the fans react to him. Another pretty interesting factor is the pitching matchups which will we dive into right now.

Pitching Matchups

Luis Perdomo vs Drew Smyly 4:10 p.m.

Edwin Jackson vs Blake Snell 4:10 p.m.

Christian Friedrich vs Chris Archer 10:10 a.m.

The pitching matchups in this series are really interesting as mentioned before. Game one of the series will bring the least appealing of the three but still has potential to be good. Luis Perdomo will be on the mound for the San Diego Padres. Perdomo did look very shaky in his last start which came against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Luis would allow five runs on nine hits in five innings. His start before that would also be a bit concerning as well. He would go six and two-thirds and allow three runs against the Brewers. The bad thing here is that he would allow 10 hits and four walks in the game. Against a team like the Brewers that isn’t really ideal. Perdomo has shown that he can be dominant at times, so he is definitely capable of having a nice game. He will have a tough opponent in Drew Smyly going for the Rays. On paper Smyly does not have the best numbers in the world. He is 4-11 with an ERA over five. The thing that you don’t see here is his performance in his last four starts. Smyly has been on point recently as he has held a nice ERA of 2.52 in his last four outings. Smyly can prove to be a threat to the Padres in the first game of the series.

The second game of the series will bring forth another very interesting matchup. Wil Myers isn’t the only player making his return to Tropicana Field. Edwin Jackson spent some time with the Rays from 2006-2008. Then in 2010 with the Diamondbacks he would make history and throw a no-hitter at Tropicana Field against the Rays. The game wouldn’t be your ordinary no-no as Jackson would have plenty of walks and end up throwing 149 pitches. Now moving back to present day, Jackson has been quite the revelation for the Padres. The Padres would take a chance and sign Jackson well it definitely has paid off. Jackson has been exceptional for the Padres and I’m sure he’ll have another solid outing on Tuesday. He and the Padres will not have an easy task and they will take on 23-year old Blake Snell. Snell has been really solid for the Rays thus far. He has posted a nice ERA of 3.18 in 11 starts. However, Snell is not coming off the best of starts as he only threw one and two-thirds innings against the Blue Jays. The outing would be the shortest of his career and he would show control issues as he would walk four batters. Snell can definitely be dangerous any day of the week but his control issues can come back to haunt him. I see The veteran Jackson beating the Rookie, Snell in game two of this series.

The third game of this series will bring yet another interesting matchup to the table. The Padres will have Christian Friedrich going for them. Friedrich had a solid start his last time out against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Freiedrich would go six innings and allow four earned runs. He would allow nine hits but he would also only walk one batter. Friedrich has had similar starts to those as of late with not much run support. Which we all know the Padres are capable of providing. Hopefully the bats can come to life in the finale of the series to get Friedrich a W. This can also be Friedrich’s last outing of the season as he has already surpassed his innings count for the season. So it’ll be nice if the Padres can help ensure a W in this game. The Padres yet again will not have it easy in the finale of the series. Chris Archer will be on the mound for the Tampa Bay Rays. The game of baseball is so beautiful because of its unpredictability. Who would have thought that at this point of the season J.A. Happ would lead the MLB with 16 wins. Who would have also though that Archer would lead the MLB in losses with 16. Despite this Archer really is no laughing matter. Chris Archer can still shut out any team any given day of the week. He is still a very solid pitcher who on his day can beat anyone. He is also fourth in strikeouts in the MLB with 177 on the season. I really think that Archer will throw the arrow on point and get the W in the series finale. I do think the Padres can take this series. But I do believe that it will be the first two games of the series which they will win.

Players To Watch

Credit: USA Today Sports
Credit: USA Today Sports

Evan Longoria

What ever happened to Longo? It seems that he has been forgotten in this 2016 season. I just don’t see many people at all talking about Longoria at all. He definitely deserves to be talked about a lot more than he has. In the world of the Bryants, the Trouts, the Harpers it seems like Longoria has been lost in the shadows of the superstars of the past. Well Longoria is definitely still one of the best players in all of Major League Baseball. You better believe it. Longo is having another consistent year with a very nice BA of .289. He has also managed to hit 26 dingers with 70 RBI in the mix as well. He also stands on a very nice OPS of .880 on the season as well. Longoria is still one of the premier players of the game. Definitely one you want to look out for in this series.

Ryan Schimpf

Ryan Schimpf just had one of his best games ever. Schimpf would go 2-6 with two home runs including a grand slam. He would carry the Padres to victory with six RBI against the Mets. Of course he has to be a player to watch in this series. After that game he would throw a ball away that would cost the Padres a game. He would also not do much offensively in the rest of the series. I believe Schimpf can get back on track in this series in Tampa. Let’s see what he can do.

Alex Dickerson

Dickerson had a very slow series against the Mets going 3-12 with no RBI. Dickerson is definitely itching to hit another home run. I can see the Poway native having a nice series at the Trop. Let’s not forget the monster of a series Dickerson would have in his last taste of inter league play. Dickerson would destroy the Blue Jays and hit a home run in all three games against them. I can’t wait to see what Dickerson does this time around at another AL Ballpark.

Wil Myers

Of course the man of the hour for this series, Wil Myers. Myers will be returning to Tropicana Field, his old home. Myers of course won the 2013 Rookie of The Year Award with the Rays. After that Myers would struggle in 2014 with a .222 BA still as a Ray. Then in 2015 he would also struggle in his first season as a Padre. Well now Myers has turned it around and is an all-star. He is having a nice season batting .276 with 23 home runs and 70 RBI. It is really hard to say how Myers will fair in this series. For starters his numbers at Tropicana Field really are not so spectacular. In 82 games at the Trop he has a low BA of .245 with only seven home runs. His OPS is also not too impressive at only .684. Myers has also struggled severely on the road this season. He has batted a horrendous .207 on the road with a low OPS of .645. It’ll be interesting to see how Myers can do in this series back at the Trop and away from Petco. Regardless of how he does he will be an interesting player to look out for in this series. Hopefully he and the Padres can turn it around for a solid series. Go Padres!

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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