Oakland Athletics vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Where and when: Tropicana Field, Tampa, Florida, Friday, 7:10 pm EST
Game 1 of a three-game weekend set between the Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays will begin on Friday night at 7:10 pm EST at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida. The Athletics are in contention for the top spot in the AL West, but, remain in 2nd place currently while being only 6 games behind the first-place Houston Astros. The Rays are in 3rd place within the AL East division behind the New York Yankees. In their last outing, the A’s would go up two games to nil on the Baltimore Orioles as they would pick up a 10-0 road win on Wednesday night while cashing in on the money line as heavy favorites (-200) while the over was the play with total runs being set at 9.5 for the game. The Rays would win another series as they would pick up a 3-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on September 12th.
In all, the Athletics are winners of six straight games heading into this matchup while averaging 7.3 runs per game while their pitching has surrendered 2.8 runs to their opponents. The Rays are winners of 5 of their last 6 games with their offense pumping in an average of 6.8 runs per game while their pitching staff has given up 18 runs during this time (3 runs per game). The Rays would take a four-game set versus Oakland earlier in the year on May 31, 2018 as they would shut out the Athletics twice during the set while outscoring the home team 11-3 before Oakland would pick up a 7-3 win in the finale.
Jackson to come to the hill for Oakland
Edwin Jackson (5-3) will look to get back into the win column after a no decision in his last start to where he would pitch three innings while allowing four runs on along with two homers in an 8-6 home loss to the Texas Rangers on September 8th. His last outing versus the Rays would date back to May 24, 2016, where, as a reliever for the Miami Marlins, he would pitch one inning while allowing only 1 hit in a 4-3 home loss. Jackson would suffer at the hill lately as he is charged with 13 earned runs in his last starts starts while he has failed to go over five innings in three games during this time. The right-hander would suffer three no decisions along with a win and a loss during this time, also, as he seeks to recover his form at the mound in which to get a win.
Pitcher for Rays not determined
As stated, the Ray’s pitching has been just as effective as the staff for Oakland lately. With their offense clicking on all cylinders, the Rays have done damage to opposing lineups recently in allowing only three runs per game during their current streak. They have won five straight home series while surrendering 42 runs during this 16-game span. The over has been the play in 5 of the last 9 home games for the Rays, due primarily to their no-decision that has plated 75 runs during this time. This matchup will certainly be an interesting one as the Rays will continue their quest for a wild card spot in the postseason.
- TB is 20-6 in their last 26 overall
- TB is 39-12 in their last 51 games on AstroTurf
- TB is 38-13 in their last 51 home games
- Under is 6-2-1 in OAK last 9 Fri. games
- OAK is 55-21 in their last 76 overall
- OAK is 35-16 in their last 51 road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
While both teams have played well lately, I will back the Rays in the opener as they have been stellar at home both at the mound as well as at the plate. Oakland has been very solid on the road as well, however, Jackson has had some issues at the hill in his past few starts and with a team as locked in as the Rays, this may spell problems early on. In all, expect the Rays to pick up a win in the opener in what will be a competitive, low-scoring contest throughout.
Prediction: Pick: Tampa Bay Rays
Full-Game Total Pick
The pitching for both teams has been stellar recently and I expect this to be the case not only for the opener on Friday, but, for the series, altogether. In other words, I expect this series to be decided on the mound in that the staffs for both teams must step up in which to ensure that these offenses are not able to get going. This will be a tall order simply judging by how focused Oakland and Tampa Bay has performed at the plate lately; Nonetheless, I would expect the under to be the play on Friday as both teams will be looking to re-acclimate themselves to each other in the opener.
Prediction: Pick: Under
Full-Game Prop Bet
While I will give the edge to the Rays in this matchup, I will also expect the Athletics to keep this game close. Again, both teams have been lights out both at the plate as well as on the mound. With that being said, pitching will indeed take center stage in this contest on Friday night, meaning that there will not be many runs that are scored. With this being the case, Oakland will have a chance to keep this one close while also have a chance to win outright.
Prediction: Pick: Oakland Athletics +1.5
First Five Innings Side Pick
I will back the Rays to possess a small lead after five innings due to their pitching. And while Jackson has struggled lately and will most likely give up a few runs early, the A’s will battle back and will score a run or two of their own against this pitcher-by-committee philosophy that has worked well for the Rays during their winning streak. In all, the Rays will obtain a lead early and will maintain it leading into the sixth inning.
Prediction: Pick: Tampa Bay Rays -0.5
First Five Innings Total Bet
Diego Castillo (3-2) will take the mound for the Rays on Friday night in hopes of obtaining a victory for his squad. While he would be charged with four earned runs in his last 10.2 innings, the Rays are 9-1 in his last 10 appearances on the mound. On the other hand, Jackson has struggled lately, as stated, however, I happen to feel as though he will be solid on this night with postseason positioning on the line. I will back the under in this contest after five innings.
Prediction: Pick: Under 4.5
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
I feel as though the Rays pitching style will keep the Athletics off balance for much of the game while the home team will obtain some momentum early in getting some hits that lead to scoring opportunities. In all, I expect the Rays will maintain a lead heading into the sixth inning to cash in on the money line due to the fact that Jackson will indeed be chased for a bit on the mound, however, not enough for the game to become out of reach for the road team.
Prediction: Pick: Tampa Bay Rays -130