The last time the starting pitcher Tuesday for the Tampa Bay Rays was on the mound, he threw a no-hitter. Sort of. That’s Nathan Eovaldi, and he’s back on the bump Tuesday night and a huge MLB odds underdog in interleague action at Washington and vs. Nationals ace Max Scherzer.
Rays at Nationals MLB Odds & Betting PreviewMLB.tv Radio: 620 AM (Tampa Bay) / 106.7 FM (Washington) Opening MLB Odds: Nationals -240, Rays +220 (7)
All-Time SeriesThese franchises haven’t played much over the years with Tampa still a fairly new team and of course Washington having moved from Montreal. The Rays will host the Nationals from June 25-26. For this series, the Rays will lose the designated hitter. The Rays are 13-12 all-time against the franchise (8-5 vs. Nationals, 5-7 vs. Expos) … the Rays are 4-4 all-time in the nation’s capital: 3-2 at Nationals Park and 1-2 at RFK Stadium. This will be the first meeting between the clubs since June 15-18, 2015, when the Rays went 1-1 at home and 2-0 on the road. This is the first time in club history the Rays are visiting Washington state and Washington, D.C. on the same road trip. They are the first team to do that since the Angels last Aug 10-16. Wilson Ramos is the only current Ray to have previously played for the Nationals.
Why Bet on Tampa?Tuesday is the Rays’ sixth of 20 interleague games this season. They are 0-5 so far, all at home, their longest losing streak in interleague play since April 13–June 10, 2014 (6). It’s the third time in franchise history the Rays have started the season winless through at least 5 games in interleague play, following 1999 (0-7) and 2005 (0-8). The Rays are 10-9 in series play this season, including 6-5 in road series. They are 9-5 in their last 14 series, compared to 1-4 in their first five series of the season. Tampa has been swept five times in series already. They have also swept three series. Tampa brings in a four-game losing streak after getting swept over the weekend in Seattle. Sunday saw some history as lefty Blake Snell, who is from Seattle, struck out the first seven batters he faced to tie an American League record. Alas, his offense didn’t support him. Snell matched the opening strikeout mark set by Joe Cowley of the White Sox on May 28, 1986, and also reached by Carlos Rodon for the White Sox on Sept. 30, 2016. He was one shy of the major league record held by Jim Deshaies and Jacob deGrom. Usual Rays DH C.J. Cron is considered day-to-day after being diagnosed with a right forearm contusion on Sunday. Cron was drilled by a pitch against the Mariners, but X-rays came back negative. Obviously, he would have to play the field to get into this game or just pinch-hit.
Who Will Step on the Mound for the Rays?It’s Nathan Eovaldi on the mound. Last Wednesday at Oakland in his first start as a Tampa Bay Rays player, his only baserunner allowed in 6 innings was a 1st-inning, 1-out walk, and after that he retired his next 17. The six no-hit innings matched the longest no-hit bid of his career. It was also Eovaldi’s first big-league game since Aug 10, 2016 at BOS (with NYY), going 657 days in between. He missed all of last year following Tommy John surgery, the second of his career. He is 2-4 with a 5.12 ERA (51-IP, 29-ER) in 9 career starts against the Nationals, and last faced them on June 10, 2015 at home with the Yankees. He’s 1-2 with a 4.18 ERA in 4 starts at Nationals Park
Why Bet on Washington?The Nats just concluded a 10-game road trip at 7-3 by losing three of four over the weekend in a first-place battle with the Atlanta Braves. Bryce Harper got Sunday off but he’s fine as it was just a routine day of rest. Meanwhile, Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Sunday that “I think we’re still a ways” from Daniel Murphy being activated from the disabled list. This comes on the heels of multiple reports saying Murphy has not looked comfortable on his surgically-repaired right knee while on his rehab assignment at Double-A Harrisburg. Murphy had microfracture surgery on his knee last October. He’s one of the best hitters in the NL when right. First baseman Matt Adams sat out Sunday after he fouled a ball off his foot Saturday. The Nats are hopeful they will not be without Adams for long considering he has been one of their most reliable hitters, with a .898 OPS in 50 games filling in at first base and left field.
Who’s the Best Pitcher in the League?The best pitcher in baseball is Max Scherzer and he’s favored to win a fourth career Cy Young and third in a row. Scherzer (9-1, 1.92) picked up the win in Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over the Orioles, scattering two hits and a walk over eight scoreless innings while striking out 12. The Orioles didn’t even get a runner into scoring position until Manny Machado’s one-out double in the seventh inning. The win was the 150th of Scherzer’s career. After back-to-back National League Cy Young Awards, Scherzer has somehow gotten even better this season. He now has eight games with double-digit strikeouts in 2018, and he owns personal bests in ERA (1.92), WHIP (0.85), K/9 rate (13.6), FIP (1.94) and xFIP (2.63). His 120 strikeouts lead the majors.
Latest MLB Odds Trends
- Tampa Bay is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games
- Tampa Bay is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Tampa Bay’s last 7 games
- Washington is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games
- Washington is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington’s last 5 games