Chris Archer (7-4, 2.00 ERA) gets the start for the Tampa Bay Rays (37-30) as they go up against Doug Fister (2-2, 4.31 ERA) and the Washington Nationals (34-32) in the second of a two-game series at Nationals Park. The Rays won the last game 5-0 and Tampa Bay leads the series 1-0. The game gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jun. 18 and will air on SunSports and MASN.
Fister is 2-3 with a 2.88 ERA, 22 strikeouts and 10 walks against the Rays in his career. Denard Span (.303, 28 Rs, 5 HRs, 20 RBIs, 6 SBs) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run and one RBI. In his career against the Nationals, Archer is 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, and seven strikeouts. David DeJesus (.301, 18 Rs, 5 HRs, 20 RBIs, 2 SBs) has been doing well offensively for the Rays, going 2 for 4 yesterday with one run.
Washington is a +110 underdog in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at seven runs. The Nationals are 7-10 as the underdog and have an overall money line of -362. They have a 3-4 record when they were the underdog and 6-6 SU against the AL. They have been very patient at the plate, ranking fourth in the NL with an average of 3.2 walks per game. Whenever an American League opponent shows up on the calendar, the Nationals seem to struggle with pitching. They allow an average of 4.3 runs per game, but allow 5.4 against teams from the AL.
Across the field, the Rays have a record of 18-14 when they are favored and are +488 overall with the money line. They have played at the top of their game when rated as favorite recently. They managed a 5-2 record when playing as the favorite and an SU record of 6-4. When it comes to scoring runs, the Rays have performed much better than normal against teams from the NL. During those games, they averaged five runs per game, above their 3.7 season average. Switching gears to Tampa Bay's pitching staff, they have the lowest road ERA in the AL at 3.00. They also allow just 7.4 hits per road game, good for tops in the AL. They also have some of the most overpowering arms in the AL with an average of 7.9 strikeouts per road game.
The Rays are 2-1 against the Nationals this season. The Nationals will take on a right-hander (Archer) in this game and have a 25-27 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. Taking the hill against the Rays will be the right-hander Fister. They sport a 22-22 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - TB, O/U - Over
After last game's shutout win against the Washington Nationals, the Rays now have seven shutouts this season. The Nationals have been shut out in four games this season.
When leading after 7 innings, Washington is 18-14, while Tampa Bay is 13-12.
Having scored zero runs in their last game, the Nationals are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Rays have a 7-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs.
When they are outhit, the Nationals are 6-30. The Rays have a 7-21 record when opponents outhit them.
Tampa Bay ranks in the top half of the league at 14th when it comes to home runs, hitting 60 this season. Washington ranks in the top 10 at seventh with 71.
Ranking 12th, Tampa Bay is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.00 per game. Washington ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 8.72.
Ranking 22nd, Tampa Bay is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.689). Washington ranks in the top 10 at ninth with an OPS of .725.
When the Rays allow at least one home run, they are 15-22. When the Nationals allow one or more homers, they have a 10-18 record.