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Rays’ Snell opposes Astros’ Valdez in ALCS opener

Tampa Bay Rays SP Blake Snell
MLB: ALDS-New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay ace Blake Snell will oppose fellow left-hander Framber Valdez when the Rays face the Houston Astros on Sunday in the opener of the American League Championship Series at San Diego.

Snell, 27, will be making his fourth postseason start and sixth overall appearance of his career. He is 1-2 with a 2.81 ERA.

One of the losses came against Houston in Game 2 of last year’s American League Division Series when he allowed one run and four hits in 3 1/3 innings in a 3-1 loss. Snell later made two hitless relief appearances in the series.

In this year’s postseason, Snell allowed just one hit in 5 2/3 scoreless innings in a win over the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 1 of the first-round series. He lost to the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the ALDS when he gave up four runs and six hits over five innings.

The 2018 Cy Young Award winner went 4-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 11 regular-season starts this season.

The 26-year-old Valdez emerged as a solid pitcher for the Astros this season and went 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA in 11 appearances (10 starts).

He has won both of his postseason starts and has a 1.50 ERA. He pitched five shutout innings in a win over the Minnesota Twins in Game 1 of the first round and gave up two runs and five hits over seven innings while beating the Oakland Athletics in Game 2 of the ALDS.

–Field Level Media