Rays vs Phillies MLB

Rays vs Phillies MLB | Duel Of Former Relievers On Mound

The Tampa Bay Rays are battling for the best record in baseball and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, while the Philadelphia Phillies are trying to catch Atlanta in the NL East. Tampa visits Philly in interleague action on Tuesday with it opening as a pick’em on the MLB odds.

How to Bet Rays at Phillies MLB Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Tampa Bay?

The Rays are 6-1 in their last 7 games, 13-4 in their last 17 games, 17-6 in their last 23 and 24-11 since the All-Star break, tied for 3rd in the majors behind the Yankees (26-9) and Brewers (22-10).

The Rays won’t have the designated hitter for this series and their DH, Nelson Cruz, has laned on the COVID list. The 41-year-old Cruz, acquired from Minnesota last month, is hitting .198 with seven homers and 18 RBIs in 24 games with Tampa Bay. The slugger has a .270 batting average with 26 homers and 68 RBIs for the season. Cruz is 42nd on the career home run list with 443. The team hasn’t announced whether Cruz tested positive for the virus or has simply been experiencing symptoms.

The Rays rank 2nd in MLB at 5.28 runs per game behind the Astros (5.44) and lead the majors at 6.70 runs per game since Cruz debuted for the club on July 23—over a run higher than the closest AL team since then (Astros, 5.69). Rookie Wander Franco has a 24-game on-base streak, the longest active in the majors and the 2nd-longest by a rookie in club history behind Rocco Baldelli (24) in 2003.

First baseman Ji-Man Choi left Sunday’s game early with left hamstring tightness.  The 30-year-old did not look comfortable heading into second base for a double during the first inning and it was later confirmed to be a hamstring injury. Choi has struggled with this issue in the past so he may head back to the injured list.

It’s Drew Rasmussen (1-1, 3.64) on the mound here. Rasmussen tossed four scoreless frames last Tuesday as the Rays routed the Orioles 10-0. The former reliever needed only 56 pitches to cover four frames. A two-out single in the third and a two-out walk in the fourth represented the Orioles’ only baserunners against Rasmussen, who struck out three. Chris Ellis wound up being credited with the win after going four scoreless himself. Manager Kevin Cash has said he’s open to keeping Rasmussen in the rotation.

Rasmussen’s last two appearances have come as a starter, allowing a combined 2 hits, 1 run and 3 BB in 8 IP. He has a 1.93 ERA (23.1-IP, 5-ER) in his last 9 apps (3 starts) since July 11, recording 4 outs (or more) in each of those outings. Overall, Rasmussen has a 2.77 ERA (13-IP, 4-ER) in 4 starts this season.

He has faced the Phillies twice in his career, both earlier this season out of the Brewers bullpen at Citizens Bank Park. He pitched a scoreless 8th inning on May 3, yielding a 2-out double to Didi Gregorius and faced them again two days later and retired all 6 batters faced.

Why Bet on Philadelphia?

Not long ago, the Phillies led the NL East but have gone into a slump. They did impressively take two of three in San Diego over the weekend, though, so maybe they are coming out of it. On Sunday, Rhys Hoskins went 2-for-3 with two homers and a walk. Hoskins made his return to the lineup after missing time with a groin issue that kept him out since August 5. He put the Phillies on the board with a solo homer off of Ryan Weathers to lead off the fourth inning and added a second blast off of Miguel Diaz in the fifth. Hoskins has 26 homers on the year with a .247/.336/.526 triple slash and 70 RBI.

Former starting third baseman Alec Bohm was demoted to Triple-A to make room for Hoskins. Bohm had already ceded the starting third base job to Ronald Torreyes, and now the return of Hoskins (groin) will block him from getting playing time at first base as well. This year, Bohm has slashed .245/.302/.342 with seven home runs and 47 RBI.

It’s former closer Ranger Suarez (5-4) on the mound.  Suarez allowed three runs on eight hits and four walks with two strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings in a loss against the Diamondbacks last Wednesday. One run would score in the third inning on a wild pitch after walking a batter and hitting another. A base hit by opposing pitcher Humberto Castellanos would bring a second run across the plate in the fourth. Carson Kelly would add one more in the fifth before Suarez was done at 86 pitches — 54 for strikes.

He had given up just one run over his last three starts — only ten total innings. The 86 pitches were a season-high after starting the year in the bullpen. The 25-year-old left-hander has a 1.47 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 53 strikeouts over 55 innings.

Bryce Harper said he loves Suárez’s demeanor, while fellow pitcher Archie Bradley called him a “savior” for the versatility he’s displayed, pitching in various situations throughout the year. After Hector Neris’ collapse as closer, Suárez became the Phillies’ only real hope in the bullpen. Then, Joe Girardi took a risk and decided to move Suárez back to the rotation for the first time since 2018.

Game Trends

  • Rays are 6-1 in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Rays are 5-1 in their last 6 games following an off day.
  • Rays are 4-1 in their last 5 games vs. a left-handed starter.
  • Phillies are 6-13 in their last 19 interleague games.
  • Phillies are 6-13 in their last 19 vs. American League East.
  • Phillies are 2-5 in their last 7 overall.

Expert Prediction

  • Phillies 4, Rays 3

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