Rays vs. Mariners Free Picks & Predictions
Tampa Bay Rays (15-10) vs. Seattle Mariners (12-13)
When: 9:40 p.m., Thursday, May 5
Where: T-Mobile Park, Seattle
Moneyline: TB -135/SEA +115
Runline: Rays -1.5/Mariners +1.5
Starting Pitchers: Shane McClanahan (1-2, 3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) vs. Robbie Ray (2-2, 4.15 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)
Ending the Skid
The Mariners certainly hope that they can do that after going to Houston and managing just two runs in 27 innings. Seattle has been backsliding for a little over a week now, and the main reason is that the Mariners haven’t been able to generate much of any offense lately. Over its past eight games, Seattle has managed to score more than two runs in just two games, and the Mariners are 0-6 in that stretch when they fail to score at least three runs.
In fact, Seattle’s struggles at the dish go far beyond that simple assessment. The Mariners managed to win the opener against the Twins by scoring two runs, but that’s been the only win they’ve managed out of 12 in which they scored more than twice. Meanwhile, the Mariners are 0-9 when they don’t score at least three. That might seem like an obvious thing, but Seattle managed to win with a lot of pitching and defense a season ago. The Mariners haven’t suddenly turned into a heavy-hitting team, but they also haven’t kept the wins coming from a season ago. If they’re going to compete in the American League, they’ve got to be more effective at the dish.
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Hustling to SuccessIn an era where teams don’t tend to run the bases very well, these two are notable exceptions. Part of this is because of the park the Rays play in, but part is because Tampa Bay is a well-run team that tends to pay close attention to where it can exploit market inefficiencies. One of the best ways right now is by stretching singles to doubles and doubles to triples, and the Rays are tied for second in non-home run extra base hits with 46 doubles and six triples on the year. The Mariners haven’t quite had as much success with doubles because they aren’t hitting all that well, period, but they’re only one triple behind the Rays. They also will steal more bases than the average team, swiping 14 on the season. Of course, the Rays are even better at taking the extra base to get in scoring position, swiping 17 bases on the year to put them behind only St. Louis.
Struggling for StrikeoutsIf there’s a weakness in this Tampa Bay lineup, it’s that the Rays tend to strike out a little too often. 220 K’s in 25 games might not be seen as a lot in this day and age, but it’s still almost ten strikeouts a game, far too much if you’re trying to manufacture runs without having to hit the ball out of the park. That would seem to present a good opportunity for Robbie Ray to put up numbers, but the K’s haven’t been coming for him this year. In five starts, only Ray’s most recent appearance saw him top five strikeouts, which just isn’t good enough for his own standards of how he wants to pitch. If he’s not missing bats, he becomes much more hittable, which is why his ERA is over 4. If Ray can get batters taking a seat, the Mariners are in great shape. If not, this could be a serious problem.
- The Rays are 5-0 in their past five games against the American League West.
- The Rays are 6-2 in their past eight games overall.
- The Mariners are 6-1 in their past seven home games.
- The Mariners are 1-4 in their past five against the AL East.
- The under is 6-1-1 in the Rays’ past eight Thursday games.
- The under is 9-2-1 in the Rays’ past 12 series openers.
- The over is 8-3 in the Mariners’ past 11 home games.
- The over is 4-0 in the Mariners’ past four home games against a left-handed starter.
- The Mariners are 21-9 in their past 30 meetings with Tampa Bay.
- The Mariners are 13-3 in the teams’ past 16 matchups in Seattle.
Weather ReportWith light rain and 51-degree temperatures in the forecast for Seattle, expect the Mariners to close the roof for this game.
Dan’s pickAre the Mariners playing poorly, or was this the cause of going on a nine-game road trip to Tampa Bay, Miami, and Houston, none of whom are easy to beat at home? I tend to think it’s the latter, as Seattle has been dominant in front of its crowd this season. For the year, the Mariners are 7-2 at home, and they’ve tended to have their way against the Rays when the teams have met. In this situation, I’ll take a shot with a pitcher as good as Ray for plus money. Give me Seattle.
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