Erasmo Ramirez (5-2, 4.96 ERA) and Gio Gonzalez (4-3, 4.42 ERA) are on the hill in the first of a two-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays (35-29) and the Washington Nationals (33-30) at Tropicana Field. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Monday, Jun. 15 and can be seen on MASN2 and SunSports.
Ramirez pitched 5.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering two runs and striking out three in a 4-2 win over the Angels. David DeJesus (.301, 17 Rs, 5 HRs, 20 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one run and one stolen base. Gonzalez is 2-1 with a 4.37 ERA against the Rays in his career. He is up against a below-average Tampa Bay offense that's batting just .240. Bryce Harper (.343, 48 Rs, 21 HRs, 51 RBIs, 3 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Nationals, going 3 for 3 yesterday with one run and two RBIs.
Washington is a slim -115 favorite over Tampa Bay. The Over/Under (O/U) is sitting at seven runs for this matchup. The Rays have an overall money line of +387 and a record as the underdog of 17-16. In interleague play, they have had a solid season, earning 3-1 and 3-2 records as the underdog and SU respectively. The Rays have seen an uptick in scoring against teams in the NL, averaging 5.0 runs per game. They average 3.7 runs per game on the season. Tampa Bay's pitchers fall apart when National League teams are on the field. Its average runs allowed per game rises to 4.0 against NL teams, compared to its 3.5 season average. The Rays are the third-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.19 so far this season. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Rays, who rank second in the AL in strikeouts per game with 8.5.
In games where it is the favorite, Washington has a 26-21 record and an overall money line of -477. They played poorly as the favorite over their last 10 games with a 1-5 record, and a 3-7 record SU. Washington is excellent at drawing walks with 3.3 per road game, ranking second in the NL. The Nationals allow 4.3 runs per game, but does worse whenever an AL opponent is on the schedule. They bring that runs allowed average up to 5.5 against teams from the AL. When it comes to issuing walks on the road, the Nationals have the third-fewest in the NL with an average of just 2.5 walks allowed per game. The Nationals have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 7.8 strikeouts per road game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Rays have a 12-8 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Gonzalez takes the mound. Ramirez (RHP) will be on the hill against the Nationals, who have a 23-26 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - TB, O/U - Over
After last game's shutout win against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Nationals now have six shutouts this season. The Rays have been shut out in six games this season.
When the Nationals play into extra innings, they have a 4-1 record. The Rays are 2-2 when their games exceed nine innings.
The Nationals are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Rays have a 6-10 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Rays are 23-5. The Nationals have a 24-2 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 26th in runs, Tampa Bay has earned 236 this season. Washington ranks eighth with 272 runs.
Ranking 19th, Tampa Bay is in the bottom half of the league in walks, notching 173 this season. Washington ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 196.
The Rays are 24-15 when they hit at least one home run. The Nationals perform similarly when they hit one or more homers with a 24-14 record.