Left-hander Ryan Yarbrough will get the Game 3 start on Tuesday night for the Rays, who are looking to take a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Astros in the American League Championship Series at Petco Park in San Diego.
Yarbrough will be making his first career postseason start and his first start since Sept. 20 against the Orioles. In the regular season, Yarbrough made 11 appearances (nine starts) going 1-4 with a 3.56 ERA.
Over the past three seasons, Yarbrough has experience as a starter and as the bulk guy following an opener. His versatility and efficiency have made him an invaluable piece of Tampa Bay's pitching staff.
"He's a winner," said Rays manager Kevin Cash. "In many occasions or different scenarios, he is a top starter. You know, we do feel that sometimes it's advantageous to maybe set an opener in front of him, to maybe set the lineup. But we know when he comes into the game, he doesn't care what the situation is, he's going to compete as well as any pitcher that we have."
The Rays hope Yarbrough is able to give them quality length on Tuesday, which could help ease the bullpen's heavy workload. Throughout his career, Yarbrough has been able to stay efficient and provide lengthy starts, including seven outings of five innings or more in 2020. After Yarbrough, Tampa Bay has Shane McClanahan available to provide multiple innings, if needed. José Alvarado, Diego Castillo, Nick Anderson and Pete Fairbanks also should be ready to pitch.
"Whatever the team needs to win, it's even more crucial during playoff time," Yarbrough said. "Anything that I can help win ballgames with and knowing the coaching staff is going to put us in the best position to have success, that's all you can really ask for."
Yarbrough will be making his fifth career postseason appearance, his second in 2020. The left-hander is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA, including three scoreless innings against the Astros in last year's AL Division Series.