MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Tampa Bay0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 150
Miami0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 030
  W: R. Thompson (1-0)   L: Y. García (0-1)   S: D. Castillo (1)
1:10 PM PT2:10 PM MT3:10 PM CT4:10 PM ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 PM MST3:10 PM EST3:40 PM VEN0:10 UAE (+1)2:10 PM CT, April 1, 2021
loanDepot park, Miami, Florida  Attendance: 7,062

Rays visit Marlins on Florida's Opening Day

According to STATS
According to STATS

Tampa Bay Rays at Miami Marlins

  1. The Rays have won 10 of their last 11 games against the Marlins and have won five straight in Miami. This is the first time the intrastate rivals will square off on Opening Day.
  2. Tampa Bay won the AL pennant in 2020, its second pennant in franchise history along with 2008. The Rays (40) and Dodgers (43) were the only teams last season to reach 40 wins in the regular season -- the 40-20 (.667) record was Tampa Bay's highest winning percentage in franchise history.
  3. In 2020, Randy Arozarena became the first player to hit 10 home runs in a single postseason. He finished the postseason slugging .831, third highest by an AL player in a single postseason (minimum 40 PA), behind only Rickey Henderson in 1989 (.941) and Paul Molitor in 1993 (.851).
  4. At 31-29, the Marlins had their first season above .500 since 2009 (87-75). It earned them their third postseason appearance in franchise history -- 2020 was their first postseason trip where they did not finish as World Series champions.
  5. Miguel Rojas batted .304 last season, ranking sixth among MLB shortstops (minimum 125 PA). The last Marlins shortstop to hit .300 in a season was Hanley Ramirez in 2010 (.300).
  6. Tyler Glasnow, whose 91 strikeouts last season ranked fourth in the AL, will make his first career Opening Day start. Sandy Alcantara will make his second consecutive Opening Day start -- he allowed one earned run on three hits in 6.2 innings in last year's opener for the Marlins.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/1/2021 thru 4/3/2021

The Miami Marlins, coming off their first playoff berth in 17 years, are set to host an Opening Day matchup Thursday afternoon against their cross-state rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays, who want to be just two games better than last season.

Last year might have been an aberration, with just a 60-game season instead of the customary 162, and the Marlins snuck into the playoffs with just 31 wins.

That helps explain why not much is expected of the Marlins this year. They are generally picked last in the NL East, and Las Vegas lines have them tied for 21st in the majors in terms of 2021 odds, giving them an 80-1 chance of winning the World Series (put down $100, celebrate with $8,000 if the Marlins win it all).

Not even Marlins manager Don Mattingly seems to disagree with notion of Miami as a long-shot pick.

"We have a lot to prove," Mattingly said. "Our division (NL East) is stacked up. I don't think we're going to come in overconfident."

The Marlins on Thursday will start right-hander Sandy Alcantara, who is 11-19 with a 3.71 ERA in 53 career appearances, including 45 starts.

Alcantara, 25, went 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA last year. In his career against Tampa Bay, he is 1-1 in two starts with a 5.40 ERA.

With a fastball that reaches 97 mph, Alcantara's strikeout numbers (8.4 per nine innings) have been a bit disappointing, ranking him just fourth among the Marlins' main six starters last season. Those strikeout numbers should go up as he refines his changeup.

Offensively, the player to watch is center fielder Starling Marte, who is in his first full year with the Marlins. Now 32, he was an All-Star in 2016, and won the last of his two Gold Glove awards that season. This will be a key season for Marte, who is set to become a free agent at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay, coming off a World Series loss to the Dodgers in 2020, will start right-hander Tyler Glasnow in the opener. Glasnow has moved from third in the 2020 rotation to first this year, and this will be his first Marlins Park start.

He faced Miami once last year, getting a no-decision in a 5-4 Rays win. He struck out nine and allowed four hits, three walks and three runs in 5.1 innings.

Glasnow's strikeout rate, among pitchers with at least 50 innings in 2020, was third-best in the majors at 38.2 percent. His fastball reaches the upper 90s, and his curve can be unhittable when mixed well with the hard stuff.

Offensively, the Rays are led by Brandon Lowe, who led all MLB second basemen in homers, RBIs and extra-base hits last season.

Left fielder Randy Arozarena hit seven homers in September and 10 more in October in the playoffs.

First baseman Ji-Man Choi is out due to knee surgery, but the Rays have plenty of other playmakers, including center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and shortstop Willy Adames.

Kiermaier has won three Gold Glove awards, and Adames hit four homers in his final five games of the spring, including two on Monday.

"He has swung the bat well," Rays manager Kevin Cash said of Adames. "Maybe this is a sign of Wily starting to time up and click."

--Field Level Media

Updated March 30, 2021

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