Cleveland Guardians vs. Tampa Bay Rays: AL wild-card game 2 preview

CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 07: A fan dressed as Santa Claus looks on as Emmanuel Clase #48 of the Cleveland Guardians pitches against the the Tampa Bay Rays during Game One of the Wild Card Series at Progressive Field on October 07, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 07: A fan dressed as Santa Claus looks on as Emmanuel Clase #48 of the Cleveland Guardians pitches against the the Tampa Bay Rays during Game One of the Wild Card Series at Progressive Field on October 07, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Tampa Bay will start Tyler Glasnow, their 2021 ace who made only two starts and threw just 6 2/3 innings on the season. In 2021, Glasnow went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts before tearing his ulnar collateral ligament in August. Now just 13 months removed from Tommy John surgery to his pitching elbow, Glasnow is still building up his endurance, and doing so not only in the big leagues, but in a short postseason series. While there was speculation that he would be used out of the bullpen down the stretch, the Rays prolonged his minor-league rehab stint before bringing him back for two abbreviated starts. Expect Cash to have a short leash with his young pitcher in just his third start of the season.

The Guardians will counter with Triston McKenzie, who forms the second half of their 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation. McKenzie went 11-11 with a 2.96 ERA in 191 innings pitched this season, but the overall numbers do not tell the whole story. He showed moments of brilliance down the stretch as he allowed no more than three earned runs in his last 11 starts.