BetsByBob's Tuesday MLB Picks: Rays roll Phillies
It was nice getting back in the swing of things on Monday after taking a much needed weekend off. What made it nicer was to come back with one play and have it be a winner. It was nice to reset and not even think about looking for a game to dig into all weekend, and highly recommend doing that from time to time if you do this every day. Those days are going to be few and far between here in the future. The NFL is right around the corner, and anyone who follows me knows I am counting down the days until NCAAB is back in full swing. No days off after Thanksgiving until about March it feels like.
I found a few games that I like here on the overnight lines, and going to get these out there now in case lines shift overnight. I have a feeling both of these move in my favor, but it’s hard to be certain with the MLB market.
Tampa Bay Rays (Drew Rasmussen) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Ranger Suarez)
Play: Rays (-113)
*Playable to: Rays (-125)
The Tampa Bay Rays head to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies, and these series amongst contenders are getting more and more important by the day. The Rays are holding on to a 4-game lead in the division, but the Yankees have won 10 straight and are hot on their tails. For the Phillies, on the other hand, they find themselves 4.5 games back in a division they not too long ago held the lead in, much in part due to how hot the Braves have been lately. Needless to say, the focus will be there for both teams in this one.
Drew Rasmussen will get the ball to open the series for the visiting Rays, and he has been really solid this season. He has an ERA of 3.30 with a FIP of 2.90 in 30 innings pitched, so the sample size is a bit limited. But, in that time he has done an excellent job limiting the long ball, while striking out 26.2% of the batters he has faced. Rasmussen is a ground ball guy, and has gotten them to a clip of 55% so far this season. The HardHit% is a bit worrisome at 49.4%, but he limits balls being lifted so well, that he is able to work around quite a bit of damage.
Ranger Suarez gets the start for the home Phillies here, and he is due for some regression. Suarez has an ERA of 1.47 with a FIP of 3.48 in 55 innings pitched. Like Rasmussen, Suarez has done a great job limiting the long ball, but he also has a lower strikeout rate, while carrying a walk rate above 10%. The BABIP of .215 and HardHit% of 29.5% are both unsustainable, and a good lineup like the Rays could be the ones to get to him. Not to mention, the Phillies bullpen is atrocious, so I will gladly take the Rays at what feels like way too short of a price here.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Tampa Bay Rays vs Philadelphia Phillies
Seattle Mariners (Chris Flexen) @ Oakland Athletics (Cole Irvin)
Play: Mariners (+138)
*Playable to: Mariners (+130)
The Seattle Mariners look to continue their series against their division rival here on Tuesday, and are desperately needing these wins to stay in playoff contention. This Mariners team has fought all season long, and every time I look it seems like they are coming back from behind to get in games. That kind of resilience plays well in the later stages of the season, and I like their chances here as a sizable underdog on the road.
Chris Flexen gets the nod for the visiting Mariners here, and he has been solid for them so far this season. He comes into this one with an ERA of 3.65 and a FIP of 3.86, while carrying a WHIP of 1.245. Flexen doesn’t walk many batters, and doesn’t give up many home runs. He does this while only giving up a homerun 2.6% of the time and getting a ground ball 45.2% of the at-bats. Flexen mixes his pitches well, and he should be able to keep the Mariners in this one on Tuesday.
Cole Irvin will be the starting pitcher for the home team, and he has turned in fine numbers for the Athletics this season. He has an ERA of 3.57 with a FIP of 3.71, while sporting a WHIP of 1.210. Irvin does not have much swing-and-miss stuff in his arsenal, and only strikes out 16.3% of the batters he faces, which is well below average. He also gets a low ground ball rate, so mix in the lack of whiffs with line drives and fly balls, and that will spell trouble more often than not.
While I feel like these pitchers are somewhat evenly matched, I think this line is too high. It should be closer to +120 in my opinion, so it is worth the shot here at the Mariners as they are approaching the +140 range.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Seattle Mariners vs Oakland Athletics