Tampa Bay Rays (24-17) Andy Sonnanstine -102, 9 O/U at St. Louis
Cardinals (24-19) Braden Looper -108, 9 O/U, Busch Stadium, 8:15
PM EST, Friday
by Badger of Predictem.com
Two of the biggest surprises in all of Major League Baseball this
season meet head-to-head when the Tampa Bay Rays take on the St.
Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in interleague play Friday. This
series should be fun to watch too, as both teams are heading in
opposite directions at the moment.
The Rays are off to their best start in franchise history, and not
only come into the three-game series with the Cards at seven games
above .500, but also on top the American League East standings with a
one-game lead over Boston. The Rays also come into the series with
serious momentum after taking three-of-four over the hated New York
Yankees last series and with an 8-2 record in their last 10 games
The Cardinals come into the series looking to try and turn around a
bad start to their short six-game home stand. Losing two-of-three to
Pittsburgh hurts enough, but it came following a 3-5 road trip and in
painful fashion as closer Jason Isringhausen blew another save
opportunity in Thursdays 11-5 loss. The Cards have given back
virtually all of their fast start and now sit two-games behind the
Cubs in the NL Central.
WHEN YOU PLACE YOUR BASEBALL BETS, ARE YOU GETTING A DIMLINE OR
A 20 CENT LINE? IF YOUR BETTING 20 CENT LINES YOUR PISSING AWAY MONEY!
BET BASEBALL AT 5DIMES
AND START SAVING CASH TODAY!
The scheduled starters for the series opener Friday are Tampa righty
Andy Sonnanstine and St. Louis righty Braden Looper. Sonnanstine
(5-1, 5.07) had won four straight decisions before getting a no-
decision last time out, while Looper (5-2, 4.21) lost his last time
out (5-3 to Milwaukee) but has been solid in just about every outing
prior to then.
Baseball oddsmakers are letting the public set the line for this
game, since they opened the game with St. Louis (-108) and Tampa
(-102) as close to a pick-em as you get in baseball. The over/under
total opened at 9.
These two have meet in interleague play before, with St. Louis
sweeping a three-game series from the then really bad Devil Rays at
old Busch Stadium in 2005. St. Louis was 6-9 in interleague play last
year, while Tampa will be trying to improve last years 7-11 record
in interleague action.
Neither starting pitcher has done much in interleague action either.
Sonnanstine is 1-2 with a 6.16 ERA in his three starts, while Looper
is 6-6 with a 5.66 ERA (mostly as a reliever) and lost all three
starts he had last year against an AL team.
The Rays, who have benefited from great starting pitching during their win streak, will need to keep an eye on Albert Pujols. The St.
Louis slugger has hit safely in all 42 games hes played this season,
and enjoys a .344 average in interleague play in his career.
Strong betting trends line up on the over bet in this game and
series. Tampa has gone over in 22 of their last 27 interleague road
games, while St. Louis has gone over in nine of their 13 interleague
games at Busch Stadium and in 23 of their last 33 overall.
Loopers one bad game all season was in Busch on April 20th (3 IP, 10
H, 7 R), but overall throughout his career he has enjoyed his home
turf and the Cardinals are 13-6 in his last 19 home starts.
Badgers Pick: Interleague play at the National League park is
always interesting for the American League team (i.e. no DH), but I
still think this game goes over the total of 9 tonight. Dont
underestimate the Cardinals and Isringhausens bullpen struggle.
Looper will wear down at some point, and sooner than later the Cards
bullpen will need to come in. Take the over of 9.