Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#929 Tampa Bay Rays 8.5 vs.
#930 Los Angeles Dodgers -125
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 8:10pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s an interleague contest between a pair of teams who are in the playoff picture as the season winds down in the City of Angels. The Tampa Bay Rays are on the road as they make the trip to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the finale of a two-game interleague set Wednesday night. Tampa Bay dropped the finale of a three-game set on the road against the Angels, losing 6-4 Sunday afternoon. Los Angeles took two of three from the Mets on the road over the weekend, prevailing 3-2 in the rubber game Sunday night. The pitching matchup for Tuesday’s series opener saw Blake Snell get the ball for the Rays against the Dodgers’ Caleb Ferguson. First pitch in the game was set for 10:10 pm ET.

Tampa Bay Rays Battling for Playoff Position

Tampa Bay missed a chance at a sweep of the Angels on the road and it cost them some ground in the playoff chase. The Rays entered Tuesday second in the AL East, nine games behind the Yankees: they held a 1.5-game edge over Cleveland for the second wild card spot. Tampa Bay got two hits from Avisail Garcia in the contest while Austin Meadows clubbed his 31st homer of the year in a losing effort. Ryan Yarbrough (11-4) took the loss on the mound: he allowed six runs on 10 hits with two walks and three strikeouts over five innings.

Brendan McKay makes his 11th major league start as he takes the mound for the Rays in this contest. He comes in 2-4 with a 5.27 ERA, a 1.453 WHIP, 14 walks and 50 strikeouts over 42.2 innings in the majors. McKay took the loss in his last start, which came Thursday on the road against the Rangers. He threw 3.1 innings, allowing three runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts in a 6-4 Tampa Bay defeat. McKay is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA, a 1.67 WHIP, five walks and 10 strikeouts over nine innings in his last three starts. In his 11th career major league start, he faces the Dodgers for the first time in his career. This also marks his first career appearance at Dodger Stadium. Before being recalled from the minors, McKay was 6-0 with a 1.10 ERA, a 0.814 WHIP, 18 walks and 102 strikeouts over 73.2 innings in 15 appearances, 13 starts, split between Double-A Montgomery of the Southern League and Triple-A Durham of the International League.

Los Angeles Dodgers Trying to Lock Down NL’s Top Mark

Los Angeles took two of three from the Mets over the weekend as they look to lock down the best record in the National League. The Dodgers have already clinched the NL West: they entered Tuesday four games ahead of Atlanta for the NL’s best record with 11 games to go. Corey Seager and Gavin Lux each had two hits for Los Angeles in their win Sunday in the Big Apple. Walker Buehler didn’t factor in the decision as he allowed two runs on two hits with two walks and one strikeout over five innings. Kenley Jansen (5-3) earned the win with a scoreless eighth inning while Kenta Maeda got the final two outs for his second save.

Tony Gonsolin is in line to take the mound for his ninth appearance and seventh start of the year for the Dodgers. He is 3-2 with one save, a 2.83 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, 10 walks and 31 strikeouts over 35 innings of work this season. Gonsolin earned the win in his last outing, which came in relief on the road against the Orioles Thursday. He threw three innings, allowing one run on two hits with no walks and four strikeouts in a 4-2 Dodgers triumph. Gonsolin is 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, nine walks and 12 strikeouts over 14 innings in his last three starts. He pitches against the Rays for the first time in his career in this, his ninth major league appearance and eighth career start. Gonsolin comes into this contest 2-1 with a 1.20 ERA, a 0.867 WHIP, seven walks and 14 strikeouts over 15 innings in three career starts at Dodger Stadium.

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Both teams are chasing different things in regards to the postseason as the season winds down. The Rays are trying to hold off Cleveland and hoping to jump over Oakland to earn home field advantage for the wild card game. On the other side, the Dodgers are trying to seal home field advantage in the National League playoffs while sorting things out roster wise for the playoffs. McKay has struggled after a promising start on the mound as a big leaguer. Facing a lineup that is as talent-laden as the one Los Angeles brings to the table isn’t promising. Gonsolin has been solid and with Rich Hill ailing, he could earn a spot on the postseason roster if he finishes strong. Los Angeles has too much depth and talent here: they get the win.

Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers -123

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Los Angeles has been extremely effective offensively this season regardless of the venue. Even better for the Dodgers, when one guy goes down, someone else steps up and contributes. It makes things so much easier for Dave Roberts to mix and match depending on pitching situations to maximize the platoon splits. Los Angeles is fifth in the majors with 5.42 runs per game while their pitching staff leads the majors in team ERA (3.41) and WHIP (1.10) this season. Tampa Bay is 18th in runs per game (4.76) while ranking second in team ERA (3.67) and third in WHIP (1.17) on the year. Will pitching win out over hitting in this contest?

The under is 4-0-1 in the Dodgers’ last five interleague games, 4-0-1 in their last 5 vs. American League East, 6-1-1 in their last 8 on grass, 6-1-1 in their last eight overall, 4-1 in their last 5 interleague games vs. a team with a winning record and 4-1-1 in their last 6 games vs. a left-handed starter. The pitching is strong enough in this one that runs aren’t flowing as much as the Dodgers are used to. Gonsolin keeps the Rays in check and holds this under the number.

Prediction: Under 9
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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.