Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#911 Oakland A's 8.5 vs.
#912 Tampa Bay Rays -150
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 12:10pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The Tampa Bay Rays will host the Oakland Athletics for the final game of their American League series at Tropicana Field on Wednesday afternoon.

The Rays and NY Yankees are tied for first place in the AL East standings, as both teams sport a 41-25 overall record through their first 66 games and a 7.5-game lead over the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. After splitting the first two games, can Tampa Bay close out their series against the A’s with a win at home on Wednesday afternoon?

Anderson due for some regression after 6-4 start

Left-hander Brett Anderson will toe the rubber for the A’s in the series finale at Tropicana Field on Wednesday night. Anderson has pitched well as of late, compiling quality starts in two of his last three outings. He comes in with a 6-4 overall record to go along with a 3.98 ERA in 13 starts this season despite posting a strikeout-to-walk ratio of only 1.44. In his last appearance, the A’s lefty gave up just three runs in 6 ⅓ innings of work in a no-decision versus the Texas Rangers. Anderson has pitched into the sixth inning or later in seven consecutive outings and he’s allowed three runs or fewer in each of his last four starts, but his recent run of success could be coming to a close. His 5.09 xFIP, .277 BABIP and 75.1 percent strand rate are all indicators that regression could be on the way soon.

In four career starts against the Rays, Anderson is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA. However, his last start against them came nearly six years ago in the 2013 season. According to Baseball Savant, the current Rays’ roster is batting just .227 in 22 plate appearances off of the veteran lefty heading into Wednesday’s matchup.

Rays have yet to announce opener for series finale

The Rays have yet to announce a starter for the series finale on Wednesday, but it will presumably be another bullpen game for Tampa Bay. Manager Kevin Cash has become one of the best in baseball at managing his relief pitchers and the Rays have been no stranger to using a reliever to open games over the past two seasons, sparking a league-wide trend. However, the organization’s ability to find, groom, and develop young pitching prospects should not be overlooked. David Price, James Shields, Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, and Blake Snell are just a few of the names to come out of the Rays’ minor league system and they’ve all had a hand in the organization’s success over the years.

This season is no different with Tampa Bay sitting atop the American League East standings thanks in large part to a pitching staff that owns the best earned run average in baseball at a slim 2.92 mark. Their bullpen ranks third in the Major Leagues with a 3.33 ERA, despite logging the second-most innings in baseball and nearly 75 more innings than either of the top two teams.

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The A’s have struggled in this series, winning just three of the last 12 meetings and one of their last five meetings in Tampa Bay. Anderson is due for some regression and he hasn’t faced the Rays in some time. Tampa Bay continues to get the job done this year, no matter who’s plugged in and out of the lineup. Kevin Cash’s ability to get the most out of his bullpen has me leaning towards the Rays in this American League battle in Tampa Bay on Wednesday afternoon.

Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays

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These two teams have gone over the projected total in each of Anderson’s last four starts against the Rays and the over is 7-2 in their last nine meetings at Tropicana Field overall. These two teams rank No. 5 and No. 6 in runs scored over the last seven days and they’ve smacked a combined 27 home runs during that span. With Anderson ready to tumble back down to earth, look for this game to go over the projected total on Wednesday night.

Prediction: Over

Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. He uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits.