Seattle Mariners at Tampa Bay Rays – MLB August 2

Mariners (56-50, 23-27 road) at Rays (64-42, 34-20 home )

  • Time: 4:10 PST, 6:10 CST, 7:10 EST
  • Place: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
  • TV: ROOT Sports – NW, Bally Sports Sun, ESPN, MLB Extra Innings

Opening Pitch:

The Mariners are continuing to play solid baseball, overall, despite two losses in Texas this weekend. Seattle is still 8.0 games out of first in the AL West and are only 3.5 out of an American League wildcard spot.

Seattle has lost four out of five and the Mariners are 5-5 in their last 10 games.

The Mariners head to New York for four games with the Yankees after the three this week vs. Tampa Bay.

All is well with the Rays as Tampa Bay swept the Boston Red Sox over the weekend and the Rays have assumed a 1.5 games lead in the AL East.

The Rays have won four in a row and they are 9-3 in their last 12 games.

After Wednesday’s game with the Mariners, Tampa Bay will go on a nine-game road trip through Baltimore, Boston and Minnesota.

In a quizzical trade, the Rays shipped stopper Diego Castillo to Seattle for JT Chargois and a third base prospect. Tampa Bay has no one in the driver’s seat as a stopper unless it’s Chargois or Matt Wisler, who was shaky in closing last night’s win over Boston.

Last Time Out:

The Mariners lost to the Texas Rangers in walk-off fashion for the second day in a row yesterday as Joah Heim hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Rangers the series win.

  • Seattle led for most of the game and took a 3-1 lead on a squeeze play by Corey Seager that scored Joe Crawford in the seventh. The lack of a bonified closer in the Seattle bullpen showed though with Heim’s home run and then the two-run dinger earlier in the ninth by Andy Ibanez that tied the game at 2-2. Reliever Erik Swanson took the loss as he gave up three runs on three hits in only ten pitches in that ninth inning.
  • Tampa Bay grabbed the broom and swept the Red Sox right out of the Trop with a 3-2 shading of the Red Stockings on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Brandon Lowe hit a two-run homer to right in the bottom of the third that gave the Rays a 2-0 lead that they would never surrender. Hunter Renfroe also homered for Boston on a solo shot that cut Tampa Bay’s led to 2-1 in the fourth.

Shane McClanahan moved to 5-4 with the win while Boston’s Nick Pivetta fell to 8-5. The Rays had some problems in relief as Drew Rasmussen and then Matt Wisler allowed baserunners in the late inning before recording key outs.

Trends:

Mariners (58-47, ATS)

  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Seattle’s last 6 games
  • The Mariners are 6-1 SU in their last 7 matchups with the Rays
  • The OVER has been the play in the last 5 games between the Mariners and Rays in Tampa Bay

Rays (60-46, ATS)

  • The OVER has been the call in 5 of the Rays’ last 7 outings vs. the Mariners
  • Tampa Bay is 57-46-3 vs. the O/U this season
  • The Rays are 26-27-1 vs. the O/U at home while Seattle is 31-17-1 vs. the O/U on the road this season

Batting Stats Sketch:

The Mariners still keep the worst batting average in the majors at .221 and Tampa Bay nails a .234 clip (23rd/MLB), so you can see where the pitching staffs could be in control of not only tonight’s game, but the series.

However, watch the power of these two teams with runners on base. Tampa Bay has 136 home runs (10th/MLB) and Seattle has nailed 133 (12th/MLB).

Rightfielder Mitch Haniger (25 HRs/63 RBI) and third baseman Corey Seager (22 HRs/65 RBI) continue to be the top run producers on the squad. Haniger leads with 71 runs, but J.P. Crawford and Ty France are also solid runs producers with 54 and 52 runs each.

The Rays’ Brandon Lowe (23 HRs/54 RBI) and Austin Meadows (20 HRs/76 RBI) are the top run producers for manager Kevin Cash. However, catcher Mike Zunio is an interesting study as he has hit 20 home runs, but only has a .194 average.

Randy Arozarena leads Tampa Bay with 63 runs scored as he also shades right fielder Manuel Margot in stolen bases with 11 as Margot has 10.

Bullpen Sketch

Mariners:

  • 4.10 ERA (15th/MLB)
  • 27-16
  • 29 saves (T/6th) / 49 opps.
  • Stopper – Castillo? Middleton? Sewald?

Rays:

  • 3.05 ERA (2nd/MLB)
  • 38-20
  • 28 saves (T/10th) / 41 opps.
  • Stopper – Ask Manager Kevin Cash
Teams Spread Money Line Total Points

Seattle Mariners
+1.5 (-105) +185 O 9 (Evo)
Tampa Bay Rays -1.5 (-115) -215 U 9 (-120)

*Odds Courtesy of BetUS Sportsbook
The Starters:

Chris Flexen (9-5, 3.81 ERA) vs. Michael Wacha (2-2, 4.79 ERA) –

Seattle Mariners LogoFlexen was 3-2 in his five July decisions, but he lost his last two outings as the ERA bulged from 3.35 to 3.81. In his last start on July 27, Flexen was blasted for seven runs on nine hits in four innings as the Mariners lost to Houston, 8-6. Flexen’s last win came on July 16 as he allowed only one run on six hits in seven innings in a 5-1 win over the Angels.


Tampa Bay Rays LogoWacha doesn’t generate many innings, but with the way Cash can spend the bullpen, it works for him as Tampa Bay is 7-3 in Wacha’s 12 starts. He has a no-decision in his last three games as he worked through five innings in two of those and worked into the sixth inning in the other. Wacha has given up eight home runs in his last five appearances, including three on a June 30 loss to Washington.

The Bets
Tampa Bay Rays -1.5
-115
Tampa Bay Rays
-215
OVER 9 Runs
Evo
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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