Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#967 Tampa Bay Rays -140 vs.
#968 Texas Rangers 10.5
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 8:05pm EDT
Written by Ricky Dimon

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#967 Tampa Bay
#968 Texas
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The Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays will resume a three-game series when they meet again at Globe Life Park in Texas on Wednesday night.

Bullpen day

The Rays are not giving pursuers in the race for American League wild-card spots much help with 11 victories in 12 games and can extend their winning streak to a season-high seven on Wednesday. Tampa Bay rallied to tie it in the eighth inning on red-hot Austin Meadows’ two-run homer and scored twice in the 11th for a 5-3 victory in Tuesday’s series opener. Meadows is 16-for-31 with five of his 29 homers and 11 RBIs during his nine-game hitting streak for Tampa Bay, which leads Oakland by 1.5 games for the top wild-card spot and improved to 44-27 on the road this season. Kevin Kiermaier (neck) and Tommy Pham (elbow/forearm) sat out Tuesday’s game and are day-to-day. Outfielder Avisail Garcia saw his five-game hitting streak come to an end Tuesday after leaving the contest due to tightness in his right hip.

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Reliever Andrew Kittredge (1-0, 4.17 ERA) is starting as the opener of a “bullpen day” on Wednesday. The right-hander will be the opener for the seventh time in 2019 and he has allowed seven runs–six earned–and 14 hits with 20 strikeouts over 11.2 innings in such a role. Kittredge will give way to either right-hander Austin Pruitt (2-0, 4.43 ERA) or lefty Jalen Beeks (6-3, 4.32 ERA), who are primed for a bulk of the pitching load.

Winning streak over

The Rangers saw their four-game winning streak come to an end with Tuesday’s setback after committing two errors in the 11th inning. Former Rays farmhand Nick Solak belted a two-run homer and is 6-for-13 with six RBIs in his last three games, while Willie Calhoun has hit safely in four straight contests (7-for-20, five RBIs).

“We did nothing at the end of the game to win the game, and that’s what’s frustrating to me,” manager Chris Woodward lamented. “Just little things that we obviously didn’t execute, at the plate, in the field.”

Ariel Jurado (7-10, 5.40 ERA) will oppose Kittredge and the rest of Tampa Bay’s bullpen on Wednesday. The right-hander has won just once in his last seven outings. He tossed 6.0 scoreless innings while allowing two hits and one walk to beat the Angels in his final outing of August but struggled in his first appearance this month. Jurado gave up five runs and seven hits (two homers) over 4.0 innings of relief against the Yankees last Tuesday. Mike Zunino is 2-for-5 with a double against Jurado, who will face Tampa Bay for the first time in his young career.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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Beeks has worked 5.0 scoreless innings over his last two outings while Pruitt has yielded one run over 10.1 innings in his last two appearances. In other words, this bullpen day should work out pretty well for the Rays. As for Jurado, he has struggled for the most part in 2019 and has to be short on confidence following his most recent outing. Tampa Bay is 4-0 in its last four at Texas. The Rangers are 0-5 in Jurado’s last five home starts and 1-6 in the last seven meetings between the two teams.

Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays

Full-Game Total Pick

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Texas first baseman Ronald Guzman is 7-for-16 with a homer during his four-game hitting streak. Solak and Calhoun also have the Rangers in fine form at the plate these days. The over is 4-0 in the Rays’ last four on the road, 6-0 in their last six against the American League West, and 9-3 in their last 12 against right-handed starters. It is also 6-2 in the Rangers’ last eight at home against opponents with winning records and 4-1 in Jurado’s last five starts against the American League East. Look for this one to go over the total.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Ricky Dimon

A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining the Winners & Whiners Staff, he worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.