Both the Tampa Bay Rays and Washington Nationals are contenders in their respective East Division as they open an interleague series in D.C. on Tuesday. Playing in the National League park, the Rays lose the designated hitter. They are still short favorites on the MLB odds.
How to Bet Rays at Nationals MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Tuesday, 7:05 PM ET
- Where: Nationals Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Rich Hill/Joe Ross
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
Why Bet on Tampa Bay?
Tampa Bay had a chance to sweep the visiting Angels over the weekend but lost the finale 6-4 on Sunday. The Rays’ bullpen has been the best in the American League this season, statistically. So it was a rare occasion Sunday afternoon when Tampa Bay’s relief corps faltered in the final innings Sunday. The Rays have blown a lead in each of their last six defeats — and they’ve blown multirun leads in four of those games. The Rays have held a lead in 64 of their 79 games this season and have blown a lead in 17 of their 32 losses.
Ji-Man Choi slugged a three-run homer in the loss. It was his first home run since May 21 and only third of the season. The 30-year-old lefty owns an .821 OPS with eight extra-base hits through 101 plate appearances this season.
The Rays and Nationals met earlier this month at Tropicana Field, splitting a 2-game series (3-1 win for Tampa, 9-7 Rays loss in 11 innings). The Rays went 1-3 against the Nats last season, losing both on the road and going 1-1 at home. The Rays are 17-18 all-time against the franchise (12-11 against the Nationals, 5-7 against the Expos) and are 4-8 all-time in the nation’s capital: 3-6 at Nationals Park and 1-2 at RFK Stadium. The Rays are 8-2 in interleague play this year, 2nd in the majors.
The Rays have recorded 22 comeback wins this season, 2nd in the majors behind the Red Sox (25), including three of the last 4 games. The Rays were .500 through May 12 (19-19) but are 28-13 since May 13, tied for the best winning pct. in the majors over that stretch.
It’s lefty Rich Hill (6-2) on the mound. Hill held the Red Sox to one run in five innings in a victory last Wednesday. He allowed three hits and five walks while striking out five. The veteran got the hook after 97 erratic pitches (58 strikes), as he also hit a batter and uncorked a wild pitch. Hill has a 3.52 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 78:29 K:BB through 76.2 innings.
Why Bet on Washington?The Nationals are at one disadvantage here in that they were supposed to be off Monday but had to play a home makeup game vs. the New York Mets.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez said that Victor Robles is considered day-to-day with a right knee contusion. Robles exited Sunday’s game after being hit in the back of the knee by a pitch, but it sounds like he was fortunate to avoid any serious injury. The 24-year-old has been a major disappointment this season, hitting just .223/.344/.304 with no homers, eight RBI and seven steals.
Kyle Schwarber’s 13 home runs this month are the most in any June in Nationals history (2005-pres.) and tied for the most in any single month with Bryce Harper (13, May 2015). His 20 home runs since May 9 are the most in Major League Baseball and his five leadoff home runs are the second-most in Major League Baseball despite him having only 16 games from the leadoff spot. The five leadoff homers rank second in a season in Nationals history (2005-pres.) behind Alfonso Soriano (9 in 2006).
It’s veteran right-hander Joe Ross (4-7) on the bump here. Ross recorded eight strikeouts over seven scoreless innings last Thursday in a win over the Marlins. Ross scattered four hits and a pair of walks. He owns a pedestrian 4.12 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 73/26 K/BB ratio across 74 1/3 innings (14 starts) this season. In his last four appearances, he has three quality, scoreless starts.
Martinez said after his last start what the sinker-balling right-hander needs to do in order to consistently give the Nationals what they need.
“He comes out and really attacks the strike zone, pitches with conviction, we need to get him — within his next start, which will be in five days, in-between (pitching coach Jim Hickey_ will talk to him about exactly what he’s done, they’ll watch video, and not be afraid to attack the strike zone,” he explained.
According to MLB Statcast, Ross throws Sinker (42.8%), Slider (33.2%), 4-Seam Fastball (15.8%) and Changeup (8.2%). Ross didn’t face Tampa Bay earlier this season.
- Rays are 6-1 in their last 7 interleague games.
- Rays are 4-1 in their last 5 overall.
- Rays are 4-1 in their last 5 games following an off day.
- Nationals are 10-1 in their last 11 interleague games vs. a left-handed starter.
- Nationals are 7-1 in their last 8 home games.
- Rays are 0-4 in the last 4 meetings in Washington.
- Nationals 5, Rays 4
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