With Yunel Escobar still unavailable with a hand injury and Ben Zobrist away from the team after the passing of his grandmother the Rays lineup includes four left handed hitters including James Loney and Sam Fuld who would normally sit against a southpaw.
The Rays lineup: Desmond Jennings (CF), Kelly Johnson (LF), Ryan Roberts (2b), Evan Longoria (3b), James Loney (1b), Sean Rodriguez (SS), Luke Scott (DH), Jose Molina (C), and Sam Fuld (RF) – Jeremy Hellickson (P)
Jeremy Hellickson enters the game with a record of 1-2 and an ERA of 4.71 and is looking to put a disappointing outing against the Kansas City Royals when he failed to protect a 5-0 lead in a game the Rays went on to lose 9-8.
The Blue Jays lineup: Brett Lawrie (3b), Melky Cabrera (LF), Jose Bautista (RF), Edwin Encarnacion (1b), Adam Lind (DH), Colby Rasmus (CF), Maicer Izturis (2b), Henry Blanco (C), and Munenori Kawasaki (SS) – Mark Buehrle (P)
Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle is off to a rough start to begin his first season with the Blue Jays with a record of 1-2 with a 6.43 ERA.
For the Rays the impact of the additional lefties in the lineup should not be felt as he is more of a neutral lefty allowing a career slash line (batting average/on-base %/slugging%) of .276/.318/.421 and an OPS (on-base% + slugging%) of .739 against right handed hitters while left handers have a slash line of .262/.304/420 and an OPS of .724 against him.
The key for both pitchers will be keeping the ball in the park. This year Mark Buehrle has allowed 9 homers in 35 IP and Hellickson 6 in 36.1 IP. From the Rays Game Notes the Rays are 21 and 6 when Hellickson doesn’t allow a homer and 14-29 when he does.