First Pitch: 6:10 pm CST
Radio: 96.3 KTWN, TIBN
Know Thine Enemy: DRaysBay
Matt Moore (15-3, 3.18)
Moore had a lukewarm rookie season last year that didn't live up to the hype, but his sophomore season has been far better. Despite losing about 2 MPH on his fastball, Moore has already become one of the better starting pitchers in the American League. He did miss all of August with an injury, but in his two starts since returning he has put together 11 2/3 innings with only 2 runs allowed (1 earned). Since batters of either handedness have had the same limited success against Moore, it looks like the offense will have its hands full today, and their best chances to score may come with drawing a walk or two and then mixing in a few timely hits.
Moore will throw his fastball in the low-90s and occasional will touch 95 MPH, and he'll also mix in a low-80s slider and mid-80s change-up, and it's that change-up which is rated as his best pitch according to FanGraphs.
Andrew Albers (2-2, 3.35)
It's been a surprising year for Albers and he looks to continue his success despite throwing his fastball at around the same speed as Matt Moore's change-up. After an ugly start in Houston on Sept. 2nd where he gave up 5 runs in 1 2/3 innings, he rebounded nicely with 7 shutout innings against the Blue Jays last Sunday. His starts can pretty much be split up into great and awful buckets, as he's given up 5 runs in 3 starts, 0 runs in 3 other starts, and 3 runs in the remaining one. He won't strike anyone out, but he also has exhibited elite control and a pitching pace that would nearly place him in the top third of the league if he had enough innings to qualify.
We're all well aware of Albers' mid-80s fastball, and he also tosses a high-70s slider, a low-80s change-up, and a high-60s curveball. Thanks to his early success in his career, FanGraphs rates all of his pitches very well except for the slider, which supposedly has been very below average.