Nathan Karns (6-5, 3.37 ERA) and Noah Syndergaard (6-5, 2.66 ERA) take the hill in the second of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays (54-56) and the New York Mets (59-50) at Tropicana Field. The Mets won the last game 4-3, continuing a seven-game winning streak. Action begins at 6:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 8 and can be seen on SUN and WPIX.
Karns pitched 5.1 innings in his most recent start, surrendering two runs, striking out seven and walking two in a 5-4 defeat to the White Sox. Steven Souza Jr. (.214, 47 Rs, 15 HRs, 34 RBIs, 10 SBs) went 1 for 2 yesterday with two runs. Syndergaard went 8.0 innings, surrendering two runs and striking out nine in a 5-2 win over the Nationals in his last outing.
New York takes on Tampa Bay as a -124 favorite. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is sitting at six runs. The Rays have an overall money line of -442 and a record as the underdog of 28-32. In interleague play, they have a 4-2 record when they were the underdog and 7-6 SU. The Rays have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 5.6 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 3.7 runs per game. Turning to the pitchers, opposing offenses have been stifled by the Rays, who have a team ERA of only 3.60. The Rays are the top team in the AL at limiting hits to their opponents, allowing only 7.9 hits per game so far this season. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Rays, who lead the AL in strikeouts per home game with 8.8.
As for their opponent, New York is coming in with an overall money line of +860 and an impressive record of 45-15 as the favorite. They played solid baseball as the favorite over their last 10 games with an 8-2 record, and an 8-2 record SU. Offensively, the Mets 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 5.3 during that stretch. The Mets have a dynamic offense, ranking fifth in the league with 284 extra base hits. New York's pitching staff is one of the top in the NL, with a 3.27 ERA. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Mets are the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.16 for the season.
The Mets have the edge in the season series, 1-0. The Rays have a 34-44 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Syndergaard takes the mound. Karns (RHP) will be on the hill against the Mets, who have a 48-40 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - NYM, O/U - Over
The Mets won their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Rays are 16-20. The Mets are 20-17 in close games this season.
The Rays are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Mets have an 11-21 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
The Mets are coming into the game with seven consecutive wins, while the Rays currently have a losing streak of two.
When they outhit their opponents, the Rays are 38-15. The Mets have a 41-4 record when outhitting opponents.
Both falling near the bottom of the league based on total runs this season, Tampa Bay ranks 26th with 407 runs and New York is 28th with 402.
Tampa Bay and New York both rank in the bottom half of the league in walks. Tampa Bay sits at 17th with 300 this season and New York ranks 18th with 299.
The Rays are 38-30 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Mets are 37-18 when they hit at least one homer.