Major League Baseball action on Friday evening and the American League West will square off with the American League East as the Oakland A’s duke it out with the Tampa Bay Rays. This is game one of a three-game series from Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida. Pitching Probables: Edwin Jackson (5-3, 3.26 ERA) will get the nod for the Rays and he will be opposed by Diego Castillo (3-2, 3.45 ERA).
The A’s Are Rolling To The Postseason
The Oakland A’s are rolling at the moment and are in great shape for a postseason berth. They will enter their game on Thursday night having won their last six games in a row. As of this writing, they are 3.0 games out of first in the American League West, but more importantly, they have an 8.5 game lead over Tampa Bay for the 2nd wildcard slot. The A’s are also just one game behind the Yankees for the top wildcard slot. The A’s topped the Orioles on Wednesday night by a score of 10-0 and has outscored their opponents 44-17 during their winning streak. Leading their attack in that game was Matt Chapman and Matt Olson, who both had two hits and three RBIs. Olson hit their lone homer of the game and it was his 26th of the year. The Recipient off all the offense was Daniel Mengden, who came in after the A’s used Liam Hendriks for just one inning. Mengden went 5.0 inning and allowed no hits and just one walk to pick up the win. He is now 7-6 with a 4.06 ERA on the year. Oakland has averaged 5.52 rpg and has allowed 4.44 rpg on the road so far.
Getting the nod for the A’s will be Edwin Jackson and he has gone 5-3 with a 3.26 ERA in 14 starts on the year, including 4-1 with a 3.18 ERA in six starts on the road. In his career, he has gone 46-62 with a 4.66 ERA in 193 games (152 starts) on the road and 20-27 with a 5.84 ERA in 92 games (67 starts) during Sept/ Oct. Jackson is 3-3 with a 3.98 ERA in seven games (six starts) against the Rays, while here at the Trop he has gone 11-16 with a 5.35 ERA in 45 games (33 starts).
The A’s have been a solid offensive team so far as they rank 5th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.88 rpg, while also ranking 12th in hitting at .251 and 3rd in homers with 200. On the mound, they have been solid as they come in ranked 9th in the league in ERA at 3.75, while also ranking 5th in WHIP at 1.21 and 25th in K’s with 1120. The pen for the A’s enters this game ranked 2nd in the league with a 3.21 ERA.
It’s A Little Too Late For The Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays have had a solid season so far as they are 15 games over .500, but that just isn’t good enough to get them in the postseason. Despite their record, they are still 19.5 games out of first in the American League East and 8.5 games out of the 2nd wildcard slot. They are just a bit too far out to steal a playoff spot in the American League. They enter of a solid 3-1 road win over the Indians and have now gone 5-1 in their last six games. They have outscored their foes 41-18 over that stretch. Blake Snell got the win on Wednesday night after allowing one ER on one hit and two walks while striking out nine in 7.0 innings of work. He is now 19-5 with a 2.03 ERA on the year and maybe the front-runner for the AL Cy Young award. Ji-Man Choi led the attack with his 7th homer of the year while diving in two runs. The Rays have averaged 4.61 and have allowed 3.20 rpg here at home.
The Rays will be sending out Diego Castillo, who probably won’t be in there for longer than an inning. He has gone 3-2 with a 3.45 ERA in 37 games (six starts) year, including 2-2 with a 3.67 ERA in 21 games (three starts) here at home. He is 0-0 with a 3.87 ERA in his six starts this year and he has pitched just 9.1 innings in those games. He has not faced the A’s yet.
Tampa Bay has been below average on offense so far as they come in ranked 19th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.34 rpg, while also ranking 5th in hitting at .258 and 27th in homers with 133. On the mound, they have been very solid so far as they come in ranked 5th in the league in ERA at 3.65, while also ranking 3rd in WHIP at 1.20 and 12th in K’s with 1258. The Rays’ pen is 9th in the league in ERA at 3.63.
Tampa Bay is:
- 39-12 in their last 51 games on astroturf
- 38-13 in their last 51 home games
- The Under is 19-6-1 in their last 26 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- The Under is 6-2-1 in their last 9 vs. American League West
- 2-5 in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning record
- 2-6 in the last 8 meetings
- The Under is 5-2 in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning record
- The Under is 4-0-2 in Jackson’s last 6 road starts
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Oakland A’s are rolling, but the Tampa Bay Rays have been playing very well of late also. This should be a good game. I like the Rays in this game. They are 8.5 games behind the A’s for the 2nd Wildcard slot and if they have any shot then they must sweep this series. The Rays have a strong bullpen and it will be used a lot in this one after Diego Castillo is out of there. Edwin Jackson has pitched well on the road and the A’s have averaged 5.52 rpg on the road, but the Rays have gone 46-25 and have allowed just 3.20 rog here at home for the year. Take the Rays in this one.
Prediction: Tampa Bay
Full-Game Total Pick
I will look for a low scoring game in this one. Both offenses come in hot, but Edwin Jackson has pitched well on the road with a 3.18 ERA and the Rays have allowed just 3.20 rpg here at home for the year. Oakland is a strong offensive team on the road, but I see the Rays being able to slow them down. Diego Castillo has been solid as an opener and behind him is a pen that has a 2.83 ERA on the road. Jackson has a solid 3.18 ERA on the road and the Rays are a very average offensive team at home. Take the under is this one and the clincher is the fact that the Under is 9-3-2 in Jackson’s last 14 starts overall.
First Five Innings Side Pick
I like the Rays to take this one as they have been playing very well overall and have played well at home for the year. They should get off to a nice start in this one as their offense has been clicking. We also note that you will see a lot of their pen early and it has been very solid this year. Look for the Rays to have the lead at the midway point.
Prediction: Tampa Bay -0.5 (+125)
First Five Innings Total Bet
Both offenses have been playing well of late, but I see the pitching coming out strong in the early. Diago Castillo should have a nice first inning and then will probably be in after that. their pen has been solid all year. The A’s will counter with Edwin Jackson and he has pitched very well for the A’s this year. He should get off to a decent start against a Tampa offense that is very average at home. Take the Under in the first five of this one.
Prediction: Under 4.5