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Series Preview: Braves vs. Rays

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The Rays come to Atlanta for two with the Braves.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves must be feeling good after a dominant performance in Miami. Now they're home for a brief two-game series (if, in fact, you call two games a "series") with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays have one of the best pitching staffs in the Majors. Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi, whom the Braves will face Wednesday, have sustained a pitching staff that is third in the AL in ERA (3.45) and has held opposing hitters to a .222 batting average, the best mark in all of Major League Baseball, all without Alex Cobb who has succumbed to Tommy John surgery. One would be safe to assume their pitching is what has kept them close to the top of the AL East, supported by league-average offense.

Speaking of offense, many of us are familiar with third baseman Evan Longoria, but this year, Logan Forsythe has been causing the most damage at the plate. Forsythe leads the team with a .300 avg. and a wRC+ of 147; David DeJesus follows closely behind at 140. Both Forsythe and Longoria are tied for the team lead with 17 RBI; three others, DeJesus, Steven Souza, and Tim Beckham, each have 15. Souza leads the team with six homers.

Tampa Bay's offense is one reason Jake Odorizzi has earned only three wins in his eight starts; only once has his offense scored more than two runs for him. Odorizzi brings a streak of 26.1 innings without a walk into his start on Wednesday, last issuing a free pass in his April 23 start against Boston. Erasmo Ramirez will come out of the bullpen to start for the Rays on Tuesday; he has seven relief appearances in addition to three starts.

BULLPEN
L - Xavier Cedeno
L - Jake McGee
R - Ernesto Frieri
R - Steve Geltz
R - Brandon Gomes
R - Kevin Jepsen
R - Brad Boxberger (closer)

PROBABLE STARTERS

Tuesday, May 19, 7:10 p.m. ET

ATL: Mike Foltynewicz
2015: 3 starts, 2-0 W-L, 4.24 ERA, 10 BB, 16 K

TB: Erasmo Ramirez
2015: 3 starts, 1-1 W-L, 6.66 ERA, 9 BB, 20 K

Wednesday, May 20, 7:10 p.m. ET

ATL: Williams Perez
First major-league start

TB: Jake Odorizzi
2015: 8 starts, 3-3 W-L, 2.36 ERA, 8 BB, 44 K