Indianapolis Star
Major League Baseball
Preview
Tampa Bay at Texas
When: 8:05 PM ET, Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Where: Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas

Blake Snell aims to become baseball's first 20-game winner in 2018 when he starts for the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday in the second of three straight at the Texas Rangers. The young ace has won each of his last seven starts while allowing a total of six earned runs to help fuel the Rays' late charge.

Tyler Glasnow and three relievers combined on a two-hitter as Tampa Bay took the opener 3-0. The Rays have won 12 of their last 15 and are within 6 1/2 games of the second wild card in the American League with 13 to play. They've produced 13 shutouts over the past 98 games and own a 2.85 ERA since the start of August. The Rangers, who give the ball to veteran Yovani Gallardo, are in danger of losing a series to Tampa Bay for the fifth time in the last six encounters.

TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, FS Sun (Tampa Bay), FS Southwest (Texas)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays LH Blake Snell (19-5, 2.03 ERA) vs. Rangers RH Yovani Gallardo (8-5, 6.67)

Snell limited the Cleveland Indians to one run on one hit - a solo homer - and struck out nine over seven innings of a 3-1 win Wednesday. It marked the third straight start in which he's fanned nine batters and he is five shy of recording the ninth 200-strikeout campaign in franchise history. The 25-year-old also struck out nine in 6 1/3 dominant innings in a win over Texas on April 16.

Gallardo has gone four straight appearances without producing a quality start, posting a 1-3 record and an ERA of 8.83 in that stretch. He lasted three innings - a season low as a starter - and surrendered six runs in an ugly outing at the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday. Kevin Kiermaier is 6-for-15 with a home run and four walks against the 32-year-old Gallardo.

WALK-OFFS

1. Rays DH Ji-Man Choi had a solo homer Monday and owns 14 RBIs in his last 12 games.

2. Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre remains stuck on 474 career home runs, one shy of Stan Musial and Willie Stargell for 30th on the all-time list.

3. Tampa Bay RHP Jose Alvarado has 12 straight scoreless innings over a span of 15 appearances.

PREDICTION: Rays 5, Rangers 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Tampa Bay 83-66 W3 48-26 35-40 36-29 21-11 19-13 7-13
Texas 64-86 L2 32-44 32-42 12-19 18-15 25-41 9-11
Last Meeting
Tampa Bay Texas
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/17/18 TB 3 TEX 0 .258 1 .753 .069 0 .251
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Tampa Bay C. Cron .500 6 1.321
Texas I. Kiner-Falefa .375 6 .812
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Tampa Bay D. Robertson 1 3 2
Texas S. Choo 2 6 3
Pitching ERA Avg K
Tampa Bay 3.25 .280 38
Texas 3.97 .212 28
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Tampa Bay M. Smith .302 130 .786
Texas S. Choo .269 143 .829
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Tampa Bay C. Cron 27 62 64
Texas J. Gallo 37 79 87
Pitching ERA Avg K
Tampa Bay 3.63 .258 1295
Texas 4.96 .241 1045