Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#973 Tampa Bay Rays 8.5 vs.
#974 San Diego Padres -110
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 3:40pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s the conclusion of an interleague series on the diamond in southern California. The Tampa Bay Rays are on the road as they close out a three-game series with the San Diego Padres Wednesday afternoon. In the opening game of the series Monday night, it was Tampa Bay rolling to a 10-4 victory to draw first blood in the set. The pitching matchup for the second game of the set Tuesday night saw Brendan McKay take the mound for the Rays: he was scheduled to be opposed by the Padres’ Eric Lauer. First pitch in that contest was scheduled for 10:10 pm ET.

Tampa Bay Rays Battling in AL Wild Card Race

Tampa Bay won their fourth straight game as they claimed the opener of this set with a solid offensive performance. The Rays entered Tuesday second in the AL East, nine games behind the Yankees: they held the second wild card spot over the A’s by two games. Tampa Bay got four hits from Matt Duffy (three RBI) while Avisail Garcia (two runs, two RBI) added three, including his 17th homer of the season. Diego Castillo was the opener and didn’t factor in the decision as he allowed one run (none earned) on two hits with no walks or strikeouts in one inning of work. Austin Pruitt (2-0) earned the win as he threw four innings: he allowed one run on five hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

Jalen Beeks is expected to be the bulk pitcher in this one regardless of who the Rays deploy as an opener: he makes his 25th appearance of the season, including two starts. He comes in 5-1 with one save, a 3.71 ERA, a 1.375 WHIP, 30 walks and 65 strikeouts over 80 innings of work this season. Beeks didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came on the road against the Mariners Friday night. He threw 3.2 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts in an eventual 5-3 Rays win. Beeks is 0-1 with an 11.05 ERA, a 2.18 WHIP, four walks and six strikeouts over 7.1 innings in his two starts this year. He faces the Padres for the first time in his career in this, his 39th major league appearance and his fourth start. That makes this his first career outing at Petco Park.

San Diego Padres Fading in NL Wild Card Chase

San Diego dropped their second straight as they were rolled over in the opening game of the series Monday night. The Padres entered Tuesday fourth in the NL West, 23 games behind the Dodgers: they were seven games behind the second wild card spot. Eric Hosmer (RBI) was the lone player with two hits for San Diego in the loss while Ian Kinsler hit his ninth homer of the season. Joey Lucchesi (7-7) took the loss on the mound as he allowed three runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts over 4.2 innings of work.

Cal Quantrill takes the mound for his 17th appearance and 12th start of the season for the Padres in this contest. He comes in 5-3 with a 3.21 ERA, a 1.143 WHIP, 18 walks and 57 strikeouts over 70 innings of work this season. Quantrill picked up the win in his last start, which came Friday at home against the Rockies. He threw seven innings, allowing no runs on five hits with no walks and five strikeouts in a 7-1 San Diego victory. Quantrill is 2-1 with a 1.56 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP, four walks and 12 strikeouts over 17.1 innings in his last three starts. He makes his first career start against the Rays in this, his 17th major league appearance and 12th career start. Quantrill is 3-1 with a 2.93 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP, 11 walks and 32 strikeouts over 40 innings in nine career appearances, seven starts, at Petco Park.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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The Rays are trying to get by with some patchwork fixes to their pitching staff as three starters are currently on the shelf. That puts some extra pressure on guys like Beeks, Pruitt and Ryan Yarbrough to step up in the middle of a tight playoff race. San Diego is looking to stay in the wild card race but they have work to do. Quantrill has been terrific of late and that has helped stabilize the Padres’ rotation. This will be a challenge for Tampa Bay as Quantrill pitches well at Petco Park. Give the Padres a slight edge in the finale of this set.

Prediction: San Diego Padres

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both teams are below average when it comes to putting runs on the board this season. Tampa Bay entered Tuesday 17th in the majors with 4.73 runs per game while San Diego was 23rd with 4.52 runs per contest. The difference between the two teams is what has transpired on the mound: the Rays are second in the majors with a 3.53 team ERA while ranking third in WHIP (1.16) and strikeouts (1,182) on the year. San Diego is improved pitching wise but they are still 18th in team ERA (4.60) and ninth in strikeouts (1.30) on the year. Can Quantrill continue his hot stretch and deliver the victory in the series finale?

The over is 5-0 in the Rays’ last 5 interleague games, 5-1 in their last 6 vs. National League West teams, 4-1 in their last 5 road games vs. a right-handed starter, 4-1-1 in their last 6 interleague games vs. a right-handed starter and 7-2 in their last 9 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15. San Diego has seen the over go 4-0-1 in their last 5 vs. American League East foes, 7-1 in their last eight at home and 6-1 in their last 7 interleague home games. Beeks has been suspect in bulk innings: look for this one to go over the total.

Prediction: Over

First Five Innings Side Pick

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Quantrill has been solid since being moved back into the rotation on July 3. In six appearances since then, five of which are starts, he is 3-1 with a 1.62 ERA over 33.1 innings. Opposing hitters have just a .197/.240/.295 slash line against him in that stretch and a .223 mark on balls in play. Beeks has been decent as a reliever but he tend to struggle the second time through the order. The Padres, behind Quantrill, get the upper hand after five innings.

Prediction: San Diego Padres

First Five Innings Total Bet

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Quantrill has been solid and that’s a positive sign for the Padres going forward as they continue to develop their young arms. San Diego has struggled to put runs on the board at home this season: the team averages 4.12 runs per game while posting a .237/.303/.421 slash line at Petco Park. Dealing Franmil Reyes to the Indians at the trade deadline took a big bat out of the middle of the lineup but there is talent there. Tampa Bay has been capable and is excellent on the road (39-22 entering Tuesday): look for this one to end up over the number after five frames.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.