Featured Video from Scott Reichel
When and where: May 15, 2019, Marlins Park, Miami, FL, 7:10 PM ET
After falling to the New York Yankees, a two-game pit-stop near South Beach to play against the Miami Marlins could be just what the doctor ordered for the Tampa Bay Rays. The top AL East team was nearly knocked off the mountaintop by the Yankees, while the Marlins have lost their last six consecutive games. Marlins righty Jose Urena will get the start on the mound against an undecided pitcher for the Rays in this interleague showdown.
Rays flex defensive muscles
The Rays were dominant on defense from start to finish in Tuesday night’s game against a Marlins team that couldn’t even keep their head above water. They were taken out to the deep end and drowned by Rays veteran pitcher Charlie Morton, who extended his unbeaten starting streak to 4-0 in the season. The righty held the Marlins to only three hits in the six innings he spent on the mound, while accumulating five strikeouts.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 15, 2019
On offense, the Rays weren’t nearly as explosive as we’ve seen them in games against the Arizona Diamondbacks and their second game in their most recent series with the Yankees, when they scored seven runs. But they did muster four runs predominantly off the bat of Avisail Garcia, who turned in three hits and three RBIs, including a home run in the second inning.
After Morton left the mound, the relief help featuring Emilio Pagan, Diego Castillo and Chaz Roe did a tremendous job of keeping the Marlins’ bats out of the game. The trio only gave up a combined three hits while keeping the goose egg on the scoreboard for the 4-0 victory.
Marlins get shutout on their home field
Few things are worse than getting shutout on your home field, even if it is against the team with the best record in the AL East. One thing is certain: No one should be pointing the finger at Caleb Smith for the team losing its sixth game in a row. The 27-year-old lefty was good enough in his five innings on the mound by allowing only three hits and two earned runs.
Even the relief help, which cycled through four more pitchers, only gave up four combined hits and two runs the rest of the way. The onus for Tuesday’s loss falls squarely on the offense not being able to produce a run. They were held in check throughout the entirety of the game by every pitcher in the Rays’ rotation.
It had to be a frustrating loss considering the effort that was given on defense. Opportunities to knock off one of the top teams in baseball don’t come along often, and the Marlins might have blown their only chance to steal a win in the series.
- Marlins are 1-5 in Urena’s last 6 Wednesday starts
- Marlins are 1-6 in Urena’s last 7 starts during game 2 of a series
- Marlins are 1-7 in Urena’s last 8 starts
- Marlins are 1-7 in Urena’s last 8 starts on grass
- Rays are 17-5 in their last 22 games on grass
- Rays are 22-8 in their last 30 road games
- Rays are 6-2 in their last 8 interleague road games
- Rays are 20-8 in their last 28 during game 2 of a series
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Marlins didn’t play that bad defensively against the Rays on Tuesday. It wasn’t a stellar performance by any stretch, but the game was within reach all the way to the bottom of the ninth inning. However, like most teams tasked with scoring against the Rays’ elite defense, the Marlins simply failed to reel off the runs needed to get back in the game.
Scoring was always going to be an issue for the Marlins this series considering they have the worst run-scoring offense in the league going against the best run-scoring defense. That sets the stage for another low-scoring game for the Marlins on Wednesday night, putting them in the position of having to lean mostly on their defense.
It’s a recipe for disaster considering it’s the same defense opponents are slashing .250/.430/.337 against. The Rays will chip away at the Marlins’ weak pitching rotation, while slowly pulling away in the game the same way they did in the series opener. If you’re looking for flashy offense, go watch the Boston Red Sox play the Colorado Rockies. This game, however, will be another methodical display of dominance by the Rays defense. Give me the Rays on Wednesday.
Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is 5-1 in the last six head-to-head meetings between the Rays and Marlins. Jose Urena has actually improved with each outing on the mound this season. He is coming off a sensational road performance where he held the Chicago Cubs to only one earned run in seven innings, which means he has the arm to challenge the Rays’ batters. Meanwhile, the Marlins offense hasn’t shown the ability to do much of anything offensively all season. I like the under betting total here.