The Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners will square off in the first of a three-game series on Friday night. These two teams are headed in very different directions. Tampa Bay has lost two of three, but that was following a six-game winning streak. Seattle won their last game on Wednesday, but that was following a five-game losing streak. Tampa Bay is coming into a very important stretch as they are currently only a half-game ahead of the Athletics for the second Wild Card spot in the American League.
Tampa Bay will send Jalen Beeks (5-1, 3.77 ERA) to the mound to square off against Marco Gonzales (12-9, 4.32 ERA) of Seattle. Tampa Bay will be in good shape if they can score four runs. They have won seven straight games when scoring four or more runs. Beeks has been really good on the road this year with a 1.91 ERA.
The Rays are the favorite at -140 and the over/under is 9.5.
Rays Cling to Wild Card Spot
The A’s are close on the heels of Tampa Bay as they head down the stretch, and you never want to count out Boston. Tampa Bay enters with a record of 66-50 and is 35-22 away from home. They will need to win series against teams like Seattle if they want to maintain their playoff spot.
Beeks has been a hybrid between an opener and a starter. He has gone between 2 and 4 1/3 innings in each of his last 10 appearances. He has a 1.35 WHIP and has only allowed eight homers in 76 1/3 innings. He has never faced Seattle.
Tampa Bay hitters have combined for only 13 at-bats against Gonzales. Newly-acquired Jesus Aguilar is 3 for 5 with a home run off of the lefty. The Rays have a team OPS of .745 against left-handed pitching.
Tampa Bay has Yandy Diaz, Brandon Lowe, Joey Wendle, Jose Alvarado, and Blake Snell on the IL.
Gonzales Looks to Continue Dominance
Gonzales is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his career against Tampa Bay. Seattle, which is 48-68 and 27-33 at home, is 6-1 in its last seven home games and has won seven of Gonzalez’s last 10 starts. In his last four home starts, Gonzales has given up two runs or less and gone at least six innings.
Seattle hitters have never faced Beeks. The Mariners have been slightly better against left-handed pitching on the season with a team OPS of .774, which is .024 higher than against right-handed pitching. Seattle’s offense is led by Daniel Vogelbach’s 26 homers and Domingo Santana’s .264 average and 68 RBI.
The Mariners have Austin Adams, Connor Sadzeck, Ryon Healy, Mitch Haniger, and Felix Hernandez on the IL.
Although Gonzales has been much better at home, it is tough to trust the Mariners. The Rays are really good coming from an off day. They are 4-1 in their last five and have won 21 of their last 30. The Rays are just a superior baseball team at this point. I am rolling with the Rays at -140.