TAMPA BAY RAYS (25-20)
at FLORIDA MARLINS (25-18)
First Pitch: Saturday, 4:10 p.m. EDT
Line: Tampa Bay -150, Florida +140, Total: 8
Interleague play continues on Saturday as the Tampa Bay Rays take on their interstate rivals, the Florida Marlins, in the second game of their three-game series at Sun Life Stadium. Florida won the opener of the series, defeating the Rays 5-3 on Friday. Baseball odds.
David Price (5-3, 3.59 ERA) gets the start for the Rays. Price was hit hard in his last outing Monday versus the Yankees, giving up five runs on six hits in five innings, but came away with a no-decision in a game Tampa Bay won 6-5. The Rays have now been victorious in six of Price’s last seven starts, with Price going 5-1 in those games. Twice during that span Price has allowed 0 ER while pitching at least eight innings and allowing four hits or fewer. This is the third time he has faced the Marlins in his career, going 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA in his two previous starts. Baseball spreads.
Florida sends Javier Vazquez (2-4, 7.55 ERA) to the mound on Saturday. Back in the NL this season after spending last season in the AL East with the Yankees, Vazquez has struggled mightily. He has been hit hard over his past four outings, going 1-2 with an 8.55 ERA and a WHIP of 1.80. Vazquez did not fare well in his four outings (two starts) against the Rays last season with the Yankees, allowing 14 ER and 20 hits in 16 IP.
The Rays have hit a bit of a rough stretch, entering Saturday losers of two straight and five of their last seven, while the Marlins win Friday snapped a two-game skid. The Marlins have won five of their past seven meetings with the Rays, but Vazquez is not pitching well and Price can dominate when he is on his game. I’m taking Tampa Bay to even this series with a win on Saturday.
This highly-rated FoxSheets trend also sides with the Rays:
Play On – All favorites with a money line of -110 or higher (TAMPA BAY) – below average AL hitting team (AVG <=.265) against a team with a good bullpen (ERA <=3.75), with a starting pitcher whose strikes out 5 or more batters per start. (174-79 over the last 5 seasons.) (68.8%, +63 units. Rating = 3*). Baseball lines.