After a busy weekend of MLB, the Monday slate is a little on the light side. Just one game is on the afternoon docket, while another eight will get underway this evening. Our attention has been drawn to the last game of the night for tonight’s pick.
It’s an interleague battle out on the West Coast. The Tampa Bay Rays will be in San Diego for the first of three with the Padres. It’s a rare occurrence to see the Rays out in San Diego, as this will be the first time that has happened since way back in 2004.
The visitors are flying high and riding a three-game winning streak as they get set for tonight’s game. Tampa Bay is a solid 4-1 over its last five and 8-2 over the last 10. San Diego checks in at 3-2 over its last five and 5-5 over the last 10.
This should be an interesting set between a pair of clubs which simply don’t get together too often. Let’s take a look at this contest in full detail, starting with what the NFL betting sites have to say.
Los Angeles Angels vs. Boston Red Sox, 7:10 PM EST, MLBN
Rays vs. Padres Pick:
The Rays spent the weekend in Seattle for three with the Mariners. They rolled and picked up the sweep by a combined score of 11-7. In Sunday’s finale, Ryan Yarbrough pitched 8.2 strong innings to lead Tampa Bay to a 1-0 win. Eric Sogard provided the offense with a solo shot in the 4th inning.
The Padres were home over the weekend playing host to the Colorado Rockies. They took three of four in the set, winning the first three by a combined score of 24-9. Yesterday, the visitors avoided the sweep with an 8-3 victory. Yonder Alonso was among the heroes for Colorado with a two-run shot.
Tampa Bay kicks off the week in 2nd place in the American League East. They’re 8.5 games back of the 1st place New York Yankees and in the thick of the Wild Card chase. San Diego is in 4th place in the National League West. They’re 22.5 games behind the 1st place Los Angeles Dodgers.
|Tampa Bay||69-50||W3||8-2||2-AL East||558||459|
|San Diego||55-62||L1||5-5||4-NL West||529||563|
Prior to the series with the Mariners, the Rays were home dropping two of three to the Toronto Blue Jays. That was the end of a brief five-game homestand for the club for which they went 3-2 overall. This series will mark the end of a six-game road swing for the team.
Tampa Bay is 31-28 on the home field this season and 38-22 in away games for the year. The club is 5th in all of MLB with a run differential of +99. The team enters this series playing really well, having won their last three in a row and eight of their last 10.
Before heading home to face the Rockies, the Padres split a pair on the road with the Mariners. That set wrapped up a six-game road trip for the team. They went 2-4 overall. The series with the Rays will wrap up a six-game homestand for the club.
San Diego is 28-31 at home this season and 27-31 on the road. The club has a run differential of -34 on the year, which falls in line with its sub-.500 record. The Padres have been just average of late with a mark of 5-5 over the last 10 games.
The Padres get the edge on the long ball, but these two clubs aren’t that far apart overall. Austin Meadows leads the way for Tampa Bay with a .285 BA, 19 HRs, and 56 RBIs. Avisail Garcia has chipped in with 15 homers and 55 ribbies. Fernando Tatis Jr. is batting .320 to lead San Diego. Hunter Renfroe is the team leader with 31 dongs, while Eric Hosmer leads with 78 RBIs.
Castillo has 45 appearances under his belt this year but just two starts. For each of his last 10 games, he has pitched one inning or less. Last time out, he held the Blue Jays scoreless over an inning of work. Lucchesi has 22 starts on the year with mixed results. He hasn’t picked up a win since July 7. In his last outing, he gave up two earned runs over 5.1 innings in a no-decision versus the Mariners.
Tampa Bay has a clear advantage when the relievers get involved. Rays hurlers have seen many more innings of work as well, as the team often uses an opener. All of Castillo’s recent appearances have been short stints of an inning or less. Lucchesi has pitched five innings or more in nine of his last 10 outings, and he has lasted six innings or more four times over that span.
These two squads rarely hook up, so there’s just not much history to glean. The last meeting took place back in 2016. The Rays hold a 7-3 edge over the Padres for the last 10 meetings, winning the last seven in a row.
Meetings of unfamiliar foes can be tricky spots, but there are several clear signs we can go off of for this one. Most importantly, the Rays are rolling right now. We’ll look for that to continue for at least another night as we like Tampa Bay to get the victory.