We got the best of the best of baseball for you this Thursday night! Over at Tropicana Field, the Tampa Bay Rays play host to the Toronto Blue Jays for the first meeting of a long, four-game set. After that, a series finale between National League West rivals—San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks—kicks off at Chase Field. Read on below for a look at both of these great matchups.
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Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays (7:10 PM ET)
The Blue Jays are sending out already-warmed-up Marcus Stroman here. The three-year pro seems to be in mid-season form already after a solid performance in Team USA’s championship showdown with Puerto Rico at the World Baseball Classic. Stroman, who was also named MVP of the tournament, logged in six shutout innings and struck out three batters. However, he carried a 2-3 record with a 4.54 ERA in five starts versus Tampa Bay last season.
Speaking of the Rays, they will respond with Blake Snell who looked rusty during spring training. Nevertheless, he still boasts a fearsome fastball and curve ball that can leave several hitters at an impasse. Snell fanned 98 in a total of 89 MLB innings last year.
Toronto (-125) wins it, 6-3.
San Francisco Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (9:40 PM ET)
Jeff Samardzija finished with a career-best 12 wins last season, and the Giants are definitely hoping that he can build upon that year in this new season. The nine-year veteran capped off spring training nicely, throwing four scoreless innings, while taking out three and allowing zero walks in an eventual win over the Rockies last week. Samardzija went 2-0 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 K’s in three starts versus Arizona in 2016.
Robbie Ray, meanwhile, is getting the nod for the hosts. He, too, is aiming to sustain his momentum from a fantastic year in 2016, when he produced eight wins and 218 strikeouts in 32 starts—all career-highs. However, Ray was only 5-6 with a 5.36 ERA in 15 starts at Chase Field in that same year.
Giants (-105) win, 4-2.
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