Tampa Bay lost six consecutive games and is already trailing Boston by eight, so their best chance is to secure a wildcard. With Oakland breathing in their neck and Cleveland coming strongly from behind, the Rays need to end their slide right away and they have the best chance to do it tonight against Seattle.
Bet: Tampa Bay -1.5 runs
Odds: Winner Sports 1.80
In the opening game, Tampa Bay took an early lead but their starting pitcher didn’t last more than four innings and the Mariners leveled the score. The hosts will try to avoid a similar scenario tonight when they send David Price to the mound, hoping that the starting pitcher can maintain his low earned-run average. After returning from the disabled list, he went 5-1 and prevented opponents from scoring more than two runs per game, so he needs minimal support from his struggling hitting unit.
Seattle players have accepted the fact that they will miss the playoffs once again, but they’ve put up quite a fight in the opening game and got away with a victory. Tonight they count on Aron Harang to pitch deep into this game, although they have few reasons to be optimistic about this outcome. He is inching closer to the psychological threshold of conceding six runs per game and he was forced to retire early in all his recent starts. Add to this the persistent problems with the bullpen, and it is obvious why the Mariners are genuinely concerned about what might happen in the second game of the series.
Granted Tampa Bay didn’t provide punters with many reasons to trust them, tonight it is worth backing the Rays to cover the spread of -1.5 runs with Winner Sports, at odds of 1.80.