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Dodgers to host Rays for two games

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Dodgers to play final inter-league series against Rays

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Blake Snell
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In some ways, this is the last meaningful regular season series for the Dodgers as they play the Tampa Bay Rays for two games starting on Tuesday evening.

The Rays are close but not yet eliminated from the AL East division title race and as of this morning, the Rays have a 1½ game lead over the Indians for the second AL Wild Card position. Tampa Bay is 1½ games behind the Athletics in the race for the first Wild Card spot.

While the Dodgers will still manage workload and injury recovery, they will still likely be playing most of the regulars as they are still trying to secure overall home field advantage in the National League playoffs. Also, there is the unwritten code that teams playing teams in contention will try their best to win instead of playing nine rookies.

The Dodgers have already secured home field for the National League Divisional Series and they will start their 2019 postseason at Dodger Stadium on Thursday October 3rd.

After this series, the Dodgers will host the Rockies for three games starting Friday. It will be their final regular season series at home.

Beginning a week from tomorrow, the Dodgers will go to San Diego and play three against the Padres. Finally, the Dodgers will go to San Francisco for a three-game series against the Giants over the last weekend of the regular season.

Tuesday: Ross Stripling (4-4, 3.40 ERA) vs. Blake Snell (6-7, 4.28 ERA)

First pitch: 7:10 p.m. PT // YouTube

The Dodgers will open their final regular season home stand with Ross Stripling making his 15th start of the season. Stripling has pitched a little more than “opener,” pitching three innings in his two prior starts this month since his return from the injured list.

Stripling pitched well in those starts, giving up one run and five hits while striking out four. Roberts should have a full complement of relievers to back Stripling given the work his starters did in New York and today’s off-day.

Going against the Dodgers will be the 2018 American Cy Young Award winner, left-handed starting pitcher Blake Snell. Snell has been on the 10-day injured list since July 25th and he had arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bodies in his left elbow on July 29.

Snell pitched in two minor league games this month. He faced six batters and recorded two outs in his first outing and then last Thursday, he pitched two scoreless innings. It was reported the Rays hope to get two to three innings from Snell in his return to major league action.

About the YouTube broadcast:

For this broadcast, MLB Network broadcaster Scott Braun, SNLA analyst Nomar Garciaparra, former Rays outfielder B.J. Upton and SNLA reporter Alanna Rizzo will be calling the game.

You can view the game by going to YouTube.com /MLB or by searching “MLB” in the YouTube app.

This game is available for free on any device and there are no blackout restrictions, including none in either team’s home markets.

Wednesday: Tony Gonsolin (3-2, 2.83 ERA) vs. Brendan McKay (2-4, 5.27 ERA)

First pitch: 5:10 p.m. PT // SportsNet LA

A pair of young pitchers will finish up the short series: 25-year old right-hander Tony Gonsolin will make his seventh career start while 23-year old left-handed pitcher Brendan McKay will be making his 11th career start.

Gonsolin is part of the celebrated 2016 Dodger draft; he was the Dodgers 9th round pick. McKay was the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft. A declared two-way player, he did start 49 games at first base through the 2018 season but this season, he was a designated hitter in the minor leagues on days he did not pitch. So far, in his major league career, McKay has only pitched.

Gonsolin is also likely to have a short outing as he has pitched four and three innings in his last two starts. McKay started out pitching five or more innings in five of his first six starts. In his last three starts, McKay has gone no longer than 3⅔ innings.

Wednesday will also be a day when two former Louisville Cardinals could face each other, Dodger catcher Will Smith and McKay were teammates for two years at the University of Louisville.