The Oakland Athletics made the long trip from the west coast to Florida for a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Judging by last night, it didn’t appear they really went anywhere. The A’s were blasted by the Rays to the tune of a 13-4 final score.
Hopefully Oakland decided to get off the plane for Saturday’s game, or it’s going to be a similar story this afternoon for the Athletics. The A’s finished near the back of the pack in 2016, as they concluded the season with a record of 69-93. Nobody expected them to flip the switch and turn it on this season, which has held true in 2017.
The A’s fell to 26-34 last night with the loss, while the Rays were able to get a win to reach a milestone of a record above .500 at 32-31. They have a hill to climb in front of them, though. The Rays are currently 4th in the American League East, 5.5 games back of the Yankees. It’s not the easiest division to traverse, and the Rays would have to make a surprising effort to win the AL East. With the Orioles, Red Sox, and Yankees all in front of them, it very much would be a surprise if they pulled it off.
The win last night gave the Rays their third win a row. The offense pleasantly exploded last night to score 13 runs. They’ll need to sustain some punch in their offense if they want to make a run at the division. Pitching has been better than average for the Rays, nothing to get too excited about but they’ve been getting the job down quietly as a unit. Overall, their pitching staff is 7th in the majors with a 3.99 ERA. No one has really stuck out, but everyone has contributed. The A’s are 16th with an ERA of 4.44, but it’s the offense that has really been at a loss. Read on and get our free Athletics vs. Rays pick for MLB below. Note that this for Game 1 of a doubleheader.
Oakland Athletics vs. Tampa Bay Rays Pick
Sonny Gray (2-2, 4.57 ERA) vs. Erasmo Ramirez (3-1, 4.09 ERA)
Former ace of this ball club, Sonny Gray will get the call for the A’s on Saturday. Some pitchers can respond from injuries and look the same, but in most cases they regress significantly. For Gray, he went from being an All-Star to a mediocre pitcher. Gray holds a 2-2 record with a 4.57 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. The offense rarely gets up, and has difficulties putting big numbers up on the board. They’re averaging 4.18 runs per game for 25th in the majors. In other words, there isn’t much room for error from the pitching staff.
Gray has posted a 5.30 ERA in his last three starts, and has also been an absolute disaster on the road in 2017. His numbers include a 7.02 ERA and 1.50 WHIP across 16.2 innings. The last start on the road for him was a mess, as he yielded 7 runs in 4.2 innings. Likewise, Erasmo Ramirez has been shaky on the road as well, but he’s pitching in Tampa today, where he has been fantastic. He holds a 2.86 ERA, along with a small 0.86 WHIP and .232 OBA. With a 3-0 record, he’s yet to lose at the Trop. Further, the Athletics are the worst team in the majors on the road, with a record of 8-21. I think this price is a little less expensive than I think it should be. The Rays look like a solid pick on Saturday afternoon on the diamond.
PICK: RAYS (-125)