The Reds and Rays haven’t seen a lot of each other — in fact, the two sides have played just 12 times ever and six times this decade. The result is a lot of unfamiliarity as the two teams begin a three-game series Monday at Tropicana Field, something Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash touched on Sunday.
“Probably a little bit more [prep] goes into it to try and get familiar with it,” Cash said. “The starting pitchers that we’re facing, we don’t have any history with. Generally, you get matchups, but I know our guys upstairs, Jeremy Sowers with our advanced [stats] will give us all the information we need.”
That said, Cincinnati’s starter on Monday, Scott Feldman, has seen a fair bit of the Rays in his 12-year career. Tampa Bay batters have had success against him in the past, combining for a .314 average and a .848 OPS. Evan Longoria and Derek Norris are a combined 11-for-31 (.355) with two home runs and eight RBIs against the right-hander.
On the flip side, only two Reds — Arismendy Alcantara and Scooter Gennett — will have seen Rays starter Jake Odorizzi before Monday’s game. Odorizzi has been incredibly effective at home this season, tossing five quality starts in a row at Tropicana Field with a 3.11 ERA.
Things to know about this game:
• The Rays have lost five of their six games against the Reds at Tropicana Field. Cincinnati leads the all-time series, 9-3.
• The Reds will avoid facing Tampa Bay ace Chris Archer, who tossed six innings of two-run baseball to earn a quality start and a win on Saturday. Archer is 5-4 this season with a 3.75 ERA, including 2-2 with a 3.40 ERA at home.