It’s easy for teams to get up for big series against divisional foes or teams that they are in a playoff hunt with, but what about when the time comes to play teams with nothing to lose? How often do you see good teams play down to the level of cellar dwellers, essentially hurting their postseason baseball odds? That is what the Tampa Bay Rays will be looking to avoid when they roll into Oakland to play the A’s on Saturday.
Tampa Bay Rays vs Oakland Athletics MLB Game Info
Date/Time: Saturday, August 22nd, 9:05 PM
Venue: O.co Coliseum, Oakland, CA
TV: Sun Sports, MLBN
Radio: WDAE 620 AM /95.3 FM
Opening line: Oakland -113
— MLB (@MLB) August 21, 2015
The good news for the Rays (60-61) is that they got the wakeup call they needed heading into this one, as they just saw the A’s sweep the LA Dodgers in a 2-game interleague series. That should be a sign that this team should not be taken lightly, but it also has to be a little concerning for a Tampa team that is on a bit of a slide right now. The Rays come into this series having lost 5 of the last 7, including a pair of extra inning heartbreakers against the Houston Astros. Tampa Bay are now 3 games out of the final Wild Card spot, and are in a situation where they really cannot afford to lose any more ground, especially with so many teams ahead of them. Erasmo Ramirez (10-4, 3.57 ERA) will be on the mound in search of his third straight win.
If the Oakland A’s (53-69) proved anything with their wins over the Dodgers, it’s that they might be quite happy to adopt the spoiler role in the final few weeks of the season. Back to back sweeps at the hands of the Orioles and Blue Jays made it appear as though this team was about to lay down and die, but that may not be the case after all. Oakland has been a whole lot better at home than on the road this season, so they will want to make some hay in this series before heading out on another road trip on Monday. When you look ahead at their remaining schedule, you see plenty of opportunities for them to have an impact on the playoff races. It’s all just a matter of whether or not they are up for the task. Sonny Gray (12-5, 2.04 ERA) has been one of the few bright spots for Oakland this season, and he will be looking for his third straight win at home.
Key Betting Trends
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tampa Bay’s last 5 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tampa Bay’s last 5 games when playing on the road against Oakland
- Oakland is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
- Oakland is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Tampa Bay
The A’s don’t win a lot of games, but when they do, it’s usually with Sonny Gray on the mound. I think he will help them get another win against a very fragile looking Tampa Bay Rays team.