Snell outduels Verlander in 2-1 Rays win

It was not a thing of beauty as Snell struggled with his command last night against the Astros. Snell threw 102 pitches, just 57 for strikes, but did enough as the Rays held off the World Champs 2-1. Snell walked 7 in the win last night while striking out 6 and lowering his ERA to 2.58.

After an up and down 2017 season, Snell has established himself as the ace of this Rays staff and should be a leading candidate for the all star team next month in D.C.

Snell is tied for third in wins in the AL with 9, is 4th in ERA at 2.48, and has 103 strikeouts on the season. When you talk about Blake Snell, you have to put him in the same class as Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber. He just hasn’t had a chance to do it as long as they have.

Once Faria gets back healthy and Archer gets back from his injury, this rotation has the potential to be very good. Snell, Faria, Archer and Eovaldi would be in the top 5 in the AL. With Jose De Leon and Brent Honeywell continue to recover from Tommy John surgery, once those two prospects get back next season, the starting rotation should be set for a few years.

The Rays will also have a couple of other decisions to make once Daniel Robertson gets back from his rehab assignment, and Christian Arroyo returns later this month. Kevin Kiermaier returned to the Rays lineup last night and Rob Refsnyder was designated for assignment. Refsnyder hit .167 with 2HR’s and 5RBI’s.

With the Return of Kiermaier, the defense just got a lot better as he has won a gold glove, and covers a lot of ground in CF. Carlos Gomez did not play poorly defensively, but his offense has left much to be desired.

—Adeiny Hechavarria is expected to be moved sooner rather than later as Robertson and Arroyo get back later this month. With the Rays possibly trading of Hechavarria, the Rays will still have one two many infielders which would mean Arroyo, or Adames would be sent down.

—The Rays are in the toughest part of their schedule right now as they are in the middle of 16 straight against the Yankees, Houston and Washington. All three of those teams should make the post-season.

—The Rays continue to struggle at the gate averaging just 13,400 per game. With the Yankees coming in this weekend, that will give a boost to the attendance as Tropicana Field will turn into Yankee Stadium south.