This afternoon will feature two tired teams in the deciding game of the series. For those betting baseball, they had to wait 13 innings to find out who the winner was, which was Tampa Bay.
With the Rays winning 3-2 to square the series, the earliest anyone was in bed was 1:00 am and they have to play a game 12 hours later.
No doubt is was another sleepless night for Seattle players, now losers of nine of 12, while Tampa Bay might have slept better, having won nine of 11 and four straight and could be .500 with victory today.
Your user-friendly baseball expert is even hotter than the Rays with 11 straight winners at this location in baseball and today tries to raise season record to 23-10 for MLB picks.
At 27, James Paxton (0-2, 2.25 ERA and 1.56 WHIP) is well beyond the prospect stage, but thanks to bad luck and not pitching well when it mattered most, the left-hander has only 33 starts since arriving in Seattle in 2013. A weird assortment of injuries (hurt forearms in spring of 2015 doing agility drills) has undermined his career. Maybe things will start to change, being called up from minors when Felix Hernandez went on DL. Has 24 strikeouts and only four walks in 16 innings with the Mariners, making this good situation for Paxton to step up.
With all the Tampa Bay pitching injuries, top prospect Blake Snell is up with big club to make second start. The 23-year old lefty has mid-90’s heater, big breaking curveball and excellent changeup for young pitcher. Reports have the Rays organization impressed with his maturity and newfound work ethic and he has become more coach-able. Good test against a mostly veteran club.
With both bullpens wiped out, each starter has pressure to pitch deep into this contest.
Don’t Blame the Offense for Seattle Road Woes
After being one of the best road teams in baseball, Seattle has lost six of seven away. All season the Mariners have scored on the road, averaging 5.4 runs per game and in the latest stretch they have actually improved to 5.7, thanks to the likes of Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano. It has been the pitching staff which has been caused the conundrum, permitting unthinkable 8.1 RPG.
Rays Bats Have Perked Up
Whether it has been the hitting coaches or the players or a combination of both, Tampa Bay is swinging the lumber with greater authority and it is showing up in their results. Having tallied 4.8 RPG during sweltering streak, the Rays are up to 4.2 RPG on the season, with 2B Logan Forsythe and 3B Evan Longoria the two main catalyst.
The MLB odds at GTBets opened with Tampa Bay as a very small favorite of -107 and total of 7.5. Lately, Seattle has not minded the long cross-country trip to Florida’s left coast and has won six of nine in Clearwater. On the totals side the UNDER is 5-4. The Rays are scrambling to find healthy arms and even took 5-0 Matt Andriese out of the rotation to help out temporarily. Tampa Bay has middle of the road 3.63 bullpen ERA in the AL, with the Mariners at 3.17.
I think focus will be a big factor in the outcome, with both squads tired. Also, how the manager’s make out the lineup cards, possibly giving some starters the day off to have them ready for next series.
Given the present direction of both teams, the situation favors Tampa Bay and for reasons unknown they are 17-5 with a fatigued bullpen, having thrown 9+ innings over the last two games since last season.
Free MLB Play – Tampa Bay Wins
Doug Upstone wrote this for www.sportsbookreview.com