The Tampa Bay Rays continue their quest for the AL East title – and their lead could grow this week with the Yankees and Blue Jays playing one another – as they close out a quick two-game set at the defending World Series champion Nationals on Tuesday.
How to Bet Rays at Nationals MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Tuesday, 6:05 PM ET
- Where: Nationals Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Charlie Morton/Anibal Sanchez
- TV: MLB Extra Innings, MLB Network
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: TBA
Why Bet on Tampa Bay?
The Rays are pulling away for the AL East title. Randy Arozarena hit two solo home runs on Sunday, helping to lead the Rays to a 5-4 victory over the Marlins in 10 innings. Arozarena got the Rays on the board in the opening inning with a solo blast off of Trevor Rogers. He victimized Rogers again in the sixth inning for another solo shot that tied the game at 3-3. Arozarena also singled, finishing the day 3-for-4. He’s slashing an impressive .467/.556/1.067 with three homers, four RBI and a stolen base over 15 at-bats in his first six games with the Rays.
The Rays enter are unbeaten in their last 10 series (8-0-2). At 16 games over .500, the Rays are tied for their high-water mark of the season. They are 22-5 in their last 27 games. The Rays have an AL-most 14 come-from-behind wins this year.
For this series, the Rays are 10-1 in their last 11 road games and 14-2 in their last 16 road games after an 0-5 start. Monday was the first of 16 straight games against teams currently below .500. That streak ends in the final series of the regular season (Sep 25-27 vs. Philadelphia). The Rays have the easiest remaining schedule in the majors, with a weighted opponents’ winning pct. of .429.
It’s Ryan Yarbrough (0-2) on the mound as he will be activated off the injured list. Yarbrough (groin) threw a successful bullpen session Friday. He has a 3.65 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 26/9 K/BB ratio over his first seven starts covering 37 innings.
“The bullpen went really, really well,” Manager Kevin Cash said. “I spoke with [pitching coach Kyle Snyder] during the game. He said [Yarbrough] looked great.
Throwing a four-pitch mix (cutter, changeup, curveball, sinker), he’s one of the game’s softest-tossers to hold down a regular rotation spot. He was in the top 1% last season in opposing exit velocity (84.8 %) and hard-hit percentage (26.2%) while posting a 2.7 fWAR season in 2019. The Rays haven’t gotten tremendous length from their starters, but they’ve held their own with a 3.74 ERA that ranks 7th in the majors for starters. Since Aug 22, Rays starters lead the AL and rank 2nd in the majors with a 2.60 ERA.
Why Bet on Washington?
Barring a stunning turnaround, it doesn’t appear the Nats will have a chance to defend their World Series title as they would miss the playoffs entirely. Second Luis Garcia was removed from Sunday’s game against the Braves due to a heel bruise.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez told reporters after the game that it’s been a lingering issue for Garcia and really bothered him in the early innings of Sunday’s eventual 10-3 loss to Atlanta. Juan Soto (elbow) remained out of the Nationals’ lineup Sunday. An MRI on Soto’s left elbow came back clean, but he’s still sore.
The team recalled third baseman and top prospect Carter Kieboom from their alternate training site. Martinez indicated that Kieboom will play third base for the remainder of the season — saying “We’ve got to see what we’ve got”. The 23-year-old was supposed to be a fixture in the Nationals’ lineup this season, but inconsistent playing time and poor results at the dish have held him back.
In a season in which the National League batting average has never been worse since the mound was lowered in 1969, Washington’s Trea Turner could be the league’s first batting champion in 85 years to hit better than .350 while playing shortstop. The last NL shortstop to hit .350 or better was Arky Vaughn in 1935 (.385).
“My immediate goals offensively were to strike out less and just have good at-bats consistently,” Turner said. “I feel like I’ve done that. I want to keep that up and continue. Defense is probably number one right now. Baserunning, I feel like I haven’t been in rhythm yet.”
It’s veteran Anibal Sanchez (1-4) on the mound. Sánchez faces the Rays for the first time since June 30, 2016, when he was a member of the Tigers. He is looking go deeper in the game after exiting Thursday’s start against the Phillies after 3 1/3 innings. Sanchez surrendered four runs — one earned — and eight hits.
The other unearned run was a result of his own error in the third, and he was very fortunate that Wander Suero protected his ERA by stranding the bases loaded after he left with one out in the fourth. If the Nationals had any pitching depth, Sanchez would be out of a job at this point. He’s allowed 50 hits, including nine homers, while striking out just 24 in 33 1/3 innings this year. His ERA is an ugly 6.48.
Rays 6, Nationals 5
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