The Tampa Bay Rays host the Milwaukee Brewers in a short two-game set between interleague rivals who are likely to make the playoffs.
Tampa Bay is 40-32 on the season and they are just 4th in the AL East, a far 13 games behind the leaders New York Yankees. The Rays are just 5-5 in their last 10 games played but head home with a three-game winning streak after sweeping their last series.
Milwaukee is the NL Central Leader and the Brewers are 42-33 on the season. They are one-half game ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals in what has developed into a two-team division race. The Brewers are 7-3 in their last 10 games played and have won their last two games.
The Brewers are 23-18 on the road while the Rays are 25-15 at home this season. This will mark the first of four meetings between these two teams this season.
The Brewers suffered a 9-4 loss to the Blue Jays last Friday in their series opener. However, Milwaukee bounced back with a 5-4 win on Saturday and the Brewers clinched the series with a 10-3 victory on Sunday.
Rowdy Tellez has a big game the last time out with 4 RBIs on two home runs. Tellez leads the team in batting average at .248 with 45 RBIs and 13 home runs. Willy Adames leads the team with 15 home runs while also producing 39 RBIs. Milwaukee averages 4.43 runs per game which are 15th in baseball. They are 24th in team batting average, 3rd in home runs, and 9th in slugging percentage.
Right-hander Brandon Woodruff will open on top of the hill for the Brewers. Woodruff is 5-3 in 9 starts with an ERA of 4.74. He was a total of 53 strikeouts and 13 walks in a total of 43.2 innings of work. He has not pitched since May 27th due to ankle and finger injuries. In his rehab start at Triple-A last week, he pitched for five innings and conceded only one run.
The Rays played three close games with the Pirates during the weekend. Tampa Bay beat Pittsburgh 4-3 last Friday, picked up a 6-5 win on Saturday, and swept the series with a 4-2 win on Sunday.
Shane Mclanahan was terrific last Sunday as he allowed only one run on four hits in seven innings pitched. Meanwhile, Isaac Parades went 3-3 with an RBI against San Diego. Tampa Bay’s pitching staff ranks 4th with an ERA of 3.18. Their bullpen is even better at n ERA of 3.06 which is good for third in the majors. Tampa Bay however is just 24th in scoring at 4.06 runs per game. They are also 21st in home runs and only 25th in slugging percentage.
23-year-old Shane Baz will pitch for the Rays on Monday. The right-hander from Cypress, TX is 0-1 in three starts this season. Baz has an ERA of 4.15 and a WHIP of 1.08. He has allowed a total of six earned runs on nine hits in a total of 13.0 innings pitched. Baz did not factor in the decision in his last start as he threw for 4.2 innings and allowed one earned runs on two hits during a 5-4 loss to the Yankees.
The Rays are 6-4 in their last 10 games played against the Brewers. Milwaukee is however 3-1 in their last four games played in Tampa Bay.
The Brewers are:
The Rays are:
Brandon Woodruff has allowed 12 total earned runs in his last five starts and he’s gone 3-2 during that span. However, he has not thrown since May 28 and his ERA is at 4.75 in nine starts this season.
Although he did not factor in the decision in each of his last two starts, Baz has allowed only six hits and one earned run in his last two starts while pitching for a total of 10.2 innings. His ERA is 4.15 because, in his only other start, he allowed five earned runs in just 2.1 innings.
The Rays are coming off a series of solid games played and Woodruff has not pitched in a month. However, despite taking a loss in his last start, he’s been solid in three out of his last four starts, giving up only four earned runs on 12 hits in a total of 15 innings pitched.
The Brewers will need help from their offense to pull off the win here and they have the lineup to do it. Milwaukee ranks 11th overall in runs scored this season and I think they should be able to give Woodruff enough run support to beat the Rays in Tampa.
Prediction: Milwaukee Brewers
The total has gone under in each of the last six meetings between the Brewers and Rays. The under is 9-0 in their last nine meetings in Tampa Bay.
Milwaukee Brewers over/under trends:
Tampa Bay Rays over/under trends:
Milwaukee has seen the total go over 7 runs in 8 out of their last 10 games played while the Rays’ total has gone under six times in their last 10 games played. These two teams have combined to score an average of 5.7 runs per game in their last 10 head-to-head meetings and 2.67 runs per game in their most recent three encounters.
Neither of these two teams is an explosive scoring team although the Brewers rank 11th in total runs scored this season. Tampa Bay is in the bottom quarter in many offensive categories. The Rays also have the third-best bullpen in the majors with an aggregate ERA of just over three runs. This one has the makings of a low-scoring game.
Prediction: Under 7
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