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The Tampa Bay Rays host the Seattle Mariners Wednesday in the final game of a three-game series. The Mariners won the first game of the series to improve to 53-73 while the Rays fell to 73-53. Right-hander Charlie Morton (13-5) gets the start for the Rays while the Mariners have not yet named a starter. Game time is 1:10 p.m. Eastern at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay.
Mariners hope to play spoiler
The Mariners hopes of making the playoffs have long since disappeared, but they can still be a thorn in the side of teams like the Tampa Bay Rays, who are battling for a playoff spot. They were just that in the opening game of a series against the Rays, beating them 9-3. Marco Gonzalez got the win to improve to 13-10. He allowed just 3 runs in 5 innings. Tom Murphy had the game of his life, going 3 for 3 with 2 home runs and 4 RBIs. Austin Nola added 2 hits including a home run and 3 RBIs, while JP Crawford added 2 hits. The Mariners improved to 53-73, not counting Wednesday’s game.
On the same day he earns his callup, Jake Fraley is named the 2019 Mariners MiLB Player of the Year.
The 24-year-old Fraley hit .298/.365/.545 with 19 homers and 22 steals in his first year in the Seattle org.
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) August 20, 2019
Rays can’t afford to stumble
The Tampa Bay Rays aren’t catching the New York Yankees in the AL East, but they have been holding on to that second wildcard spot, despite losing 3 of their last 5 games. They stand at 73-53 — not counting Tuesday night’s game. That puts them 1 game ahead of Oakland for the second wildcard spot and 1.5 games behind the Indians for the first wildcard spot. They lost a tough game on Monday to a team they should have beaten, the Mariners. They fell 9-3 as starter Brendan McKay got hammered for 7 runs in 2 innings. Austin Meadows gad 2 hits, including a home run, and 2 RBIs. Tommy Pham also had a home run and an RBI.
The Rays offense has been struggling to score in the past week or so. They average 4.6 runs per game, which is 19th in the league. They have a team batting average of .252, which is 14th in the league and they have a slugging percentage of .428, which is 20h. They are 21st in home runs. Eric Sogard leads the Rays batting .305 with 13 home runs and 38 RBIs. Austin Meadows is batting .277 with 21 home runs and 60 RBIs. He leads the team in HRs and RBIs. Tommy Pham has 18 HRs and 53 RBIs and is batting .269. The offense has been hurt by the fact that two of their better hitters — Brandon Lowe and Yonny Diaz — are both on the 10 day IL.
- Rays are 5-1 in their last 6 vs. American League West.
- Rays are 6-2 in their last 8 during game 3 of a series.
- Rays are 14-5 in their last 19 overall.
- Rays are 64-30 in their last 94 vs. a team with a losing record.
- Rays are 4-1 in Morton’s last 5 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance.
- Rays are 7-3 in Morton’s last 10 starts vs. a team with a losing record.
- Mariners are 17-35 in their last 52 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15.
- Mariners are 4-9 in their last 13 during game 3 of a series.
- Mariners are 15-36 in their last 51 road games.
- Mariners are 4-11 in their last 15 road games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Mariners are 8-23 in their last 31 road games vs. a team with a winning record.
- Mariners are 15-45 in their last 60 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Mariners are 7-26 in their last 33 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Take the Rays. This is a no-brainer. The Mariners have no chance in this one. After a disappointing loss in game one of the series, the Rays will close it out strong with their ace, Charlie Morton on the mound. Morton is 13-5 and he leads the AL with an ERA of 2.77. He is a legitimate Cy Young Award contender. The Mariners, on the other hand, have not even named a starter, which is never a good sign. Plus, the Rays are home, where they hit better. The Mariners don’t have a lot of good pitching options beyond their first couple of starters so look out.
Prediction: Tampa Bay
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the under. When Morton is pitching, games are usually played in the under. He has an ERA under 3, so look for him to hold down the injury-plagued Mariners lineup. The Rays have not been hitting well as of late, but will do enough damage off Seattle pitching to win. The under is 4-0 in Mortons last 4 home starts and 8-3 in his last 11 starts following a team loss in their previous game. Also, the under is 4-0-1 in Mariners last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter and 4-1 in their last 5 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15.