Jamal has been a writer for Bleacher Report since 2010 focused strictly on the Rays. He has had his work featured on websites such as Forbes, USA Today, CBS Sports, Houston Chronicle and the LA Times. Jamal is a special correspondent for 620wdae.com covering the Tampa Bay Rays.
There are plenty of reasons for the Tampa Bay Rays to celebrate on Opening Day.
David Price is one of the largest reasons for celebration for Rays’ fans.
After an offseason filled with speculation and trade rumors, Price will be making his third Opening Day start of his career. He is 0-1 in his previous two starts, both ending in losses to the Orioles.
Price will face the Toronto Blue Jays this year which should result in a much more favorable matchup.
He has a 13-2 record in 17 career starts versus the Blue Jays with a 2.45 ERA. His career .867 winning percentage against. Toronto is the best all-time among pitchers that have made at least 15 starts against them.
Price is 0-2 in his last three home starts against the Blue Jays. His last win against Toronto at Tropicana Field was back in May 2011.
Jose Bautista has been very successful against Price in his career.
Bautista has a career .342/.435/.789 line in 38 at-bats against the Rays’ ace. He also has more home runs (5) and RBI (11) against Price than any other batter. Of the five Jays that have faced Price for at least 15 at-bats, he is the only one with a batting average above .250.
Adam Lind has struggled the most batting .194/.256/.250 with nine strikeouts in 36 at-bats against Price. Colby Rasmus is not far behind with a .200/.273/.200 line in 20 at-bats and four strikeouts.
The entire Rays organization has enjoyed a lot of success against the Toronto over the years.
The Rays have defeated the Blue Jays 83 times at home, the most against any opponent. The last time they lost a home series to the Jays was April 6-8, 2007 while still wearing Devil Rays uniforms. The only AL team the Rays have a better all-time record against than the Jays (.533) is the Kansas City Royals (.540).
Rays fans have a lot of reason to celebrate today. They will be raising the 2013 AL Wild Card banner before the game and will watch their best pitcher go against the opponent they have dominated the most.