The weekend brought a tough loss with the Dodgers falling in an extra innings spot to the Rockies, a place you had to like if you were on LA. But Tuesday brings new opportunity, namely out in Tampa Bay where the Rays keep sputtering in the basement of the American League East. And it doesn’t get any easier today with the St. Louis Cardinals and Adam Wainwright coming to town. Oddsmakers don’t think any differently, either. And the Birds are currently trading as -140 favorites.
Adam Wainwright made last week’s write-up look pretty good when he fired eight spotless innings before allowing two men to reach base in the ninth and turning it over to the Cardinals’ ‘pen. Trevor Rosenthal didn’t get the job done and allowed Waino’s two inherited runners to score before eventually winning it in extra innings. Wainwright bounced back (predictably) from his poor outing against the Giants the start prior and he’ll continue working on the road against a struggling Tampa Bay team. Adam Wainwright is one of the toughest three to four starting pitchers in the league no matter what the circumstances, but he might be the darn near worst of them all when your offense isn’t clicking. And that’s what the Rays are up against tonight.
The Rays were shut down by Felix Hernandez on Saturday, which has come to be universally accepted by now. But Joe Maddon’s club suffered its second consecutive shutout on Sunday when Erasmo Ramirez twirled nearly five innings of blank baseball for Seattle. It was just 4.2 innings, but I consider Ramirez one of the worst regular starting pitchers in baseball this season and the M’s bullpen went on to finish it up. The Rays haven’t scored since Friday; so that’s that. They’ll be itching to get on that scoreboard, which is a devastating approach to take into a ball game against one of the control masters in the game today. Look for Wainwright to take advantage of some Tampa Bay over-aggressiveness and spin another great game tonight.
Couple Tampa’s offensive woes with the fact that it will run out Jake Odorizzi to oppose Wainwright, and I’m really not sure the home team has much of a shot tonight. It’s so unusual saying such a thing with the Rays’ recent track record since 2008, but this year just has a different feel to it than in the past. Odorizzi mires in mediocrity (5.31 ERA, 1.53 WHIP) and shouldn’t blow away a formidable Cardinals’ lineup. In a sentence: he won’t be able to duel with Wainwright.
The Birds win this one. And probably take it by more than one.
Free Pick: St. Louis -1 (-109)
YTD: 22-15 +4.58