Sonny Gray (12-5, 2.04 ERA) and Erasmo Ramirez (10-4, 3.57 ERA) start in the second of a three-game series between the Oakland Athletics (53-70) and the Tampa Bay Rays (61-61) at O.co Coliseum. The Rays won the last game 2-1 and Tampa Bay leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 9:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 22 and can be seen on CSCA, SUN and MLBN.
Gray pitched 5.2 innings in his last outing, surrendering one, striking out five and walking two in a 4-2 defeat to the Orioles. Ben Zobrist (.288, 53 Rs, 10 HRs, 46 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run. Ramirez went 5.2 innings, surrendering two runs, striking out two and walking two in a 9-2 win over the Astros in his most recent start. Steven Souza Jr. (.214, 47 Rs, 15 HRs, 34 RBIs, 10 SBs) went 1 for 2 yesterday with two runs.
The odds for Oakland and Tampa Bay are even, while the Over/Under (O/U) is sitting at seven runs. Opposing offenses have been stifled by the Athletics, who have a team ERA of only 3.63. The Athletics are the fourth-best team in the AL at limiting hits to their opponents, allowing only 8.1 hits per game so far this season.
Tampa Bay's pitching staff is one of the top in the AL, with a 3.61 ERA. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Rays are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.20 for the season.
The Rays lead the season series, 3-2. The Athletics have a 42-45 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Ramirez takes the mound. Gray (RHP) will be on the hill against the Rays, who have a 39-47 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - TB, O/U - Under
The Rays won their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Athletics are 14-28. The Rays are 20-22 in close games this season.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Athletics are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Rays have a 28-3 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Athletics are 7-46. The Rays have a 12-38 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 26th in home runs, Oakland has hit 96 this season. Tampa Bay ranks 17th with 112 home runs.
Ranking 13th, Tampa Bay is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.29 per game. Oakland ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 8.58.
Oakland and Tampa Bay both rank near the bottom of the league for their on-base plus slugging percentage. Oakland sits at 24th with an OPS of .695 and Tampa Bay ranks 21st with an OPS of .702.
When the Rays allow at least one home run, they are 28-46, well-matched with the Athletics who are 19-51 when allowing at least one homer.