Rays Announce AL Wild Card Series Game 1 Starter

The Tampa Bay Rays will turn to their breakout ace for Game 1 of their best-of-three Wild Card Series against the Cleveland Guardians.

Shane McClanahan will get the start in Game 1 for the Rays on Friday afternoon.

McClanahan has enjoyed a fantastic season, posting a sparkling 2.54 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 194 strikeouts across 166 innings. He's made 28 starts and holds a 12-8 record. 

However, since returning from a late-August shoulder injury, McClanahan has not looked like himself. In four starts since returning, the twenty-five-year-old has registered a 5.21 ERA, with just 12 strikeouts in 19 innings. The Rays are 1-3 in those games. His strikeout percentage, his CSW (called strikes + whiffs), and his swinging strike percentage are all significantly down. 

McClanahan has made just one start against the Guardians this season, back on July 31. In that start, he got lit up for five earned runs, seven hits, and three walks allowed over just 4.1 innings. The Rays lost that game 5-3. 

It's also worth noting that McClanahan's previous career high in innings pitched was 123. This season, he's thrown 166. Obviously, that's not too big of a leap, however, it may have something to do with the regression we're seeing right now from McClanahan. 

Photo Credit:  Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports