Yovani Gallardo (8-9, 3.33 ERA) and Drew Smyly (0-1, 2.70 ERA) are on the hill in the last of a three-game series between the Texas Rangers (58-57) and the Tampa Bay Rays (58-58) at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers won the last game 12-4 and Texas leads the series 2-0. Action begins at 3:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 16 and can be seen on SUN and FSSW.
Gallardo pitched 5.2 innings in his most recent start, surrendering zero runs, striking out one and walking three in a 3-2 defeat to the Twins. Mitch Moreland (.298, 39 Rs, 17 HRs, 61 RBIs, 1 SB) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 3. Smyly went 6.0 innings, surrendering one run, striking out six and walking two in a 2-0 defeat to the Red Sox in his last outing. Steven Souza Jr. (.214, 47 Rs, 15 HRs, 34 RBIs, 10 SBs) went 1 for 2 yesterday with two runs.
Texas is a -117 favorite against Tampa Bay and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at eight runs. The Rangers have an overall money line of +1,609 and a record as the favorite of 9-12. Texas is one of the best in the AL in terms of walks at home, earning an average of 3.2 per game.
In games where it is the underdog, Tampa Bay has a 29-33 record and an overall money line of -149. Offensively, the Rays have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 3.7 runs per game by averaging 5.1 during that stretch. When it comes to preventing batters from getting hits, the Rays are the best in the AL with an average of 7.8 hits allowed per game. The Rays have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an AL-best 8.3 strikeouts per game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Rangers lead the season series, 4-2. The Rangers have a 19-22 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Smyly takes the mound. Gallardo (RHP) will be on the hill against the Rays, who have a 38-44 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - TB, O/U - Over
Texas has won 43% (21-28) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Tampa Bay has won 52% (24-22) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Rays managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Rangers who are heading in with a 23-13 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Rangers are 11-44. The Rays have an 11-36 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 15th in home runs, Tampa Bay has hit 109 this season. Texas ranks 10th with 120 home runs.
Ranking 14th, Tampa Bay is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.17 per game. Texas ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 8.71.
Ranking 19th, Tampa Bay is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.704). Texas ranks in the top half at 12th with an OPS of .731.
When the Rays allow at least one home run, they are 27-43. When the Rangers allow one or more homers, they have a 31-44 record.