Nathan Karns (3-1, 3.77 ERA) and Drew Pomeranz (2-3, 4.40 ERA) start in the third of a four-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays (24-19) and the Oakland Athletics (14-30) at Tropicana Field. The Rays won the last game 5-2 and Tampa Bay leads the series 2-0. Action begins at 4:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, May. 23 and can be seen on CSN-CA and SunSports.
Karns pitched 5.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering two runs, striking out six and walking two in a 3-2 win over the Yankees. Brandon Guyer (.289, 14 Rs, 2 HRs, 12 RBIs, 5 SBs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 3 with one run. Against the Rays, Pomeranz is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP, and three strikeouts. Stephen Vogt (.309, 21 Rs, 10 HRs, 31 RBIs) has been successful at the plate for the Athletics, going 2 for 5 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI.
Tampa Bay is a -134 favorite against Oakland and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Rays have an overall money line of +348 and a record as the favorite of 11-9. It's been a struggle for opposing teams to score runs against the Rays. The 3.4 runs that Tampa Bay's pitchers allow per game makes them the top staff in the AL. The Rays are the second-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.14 so far this season.
As for their opponent, Oakland is coming in with an overall money line of -2,053 and a disappointing record of 6-10 as the underdog. Offensively, the Athletics have really sputtered in the last 10 games. They have decreased their season average of 4.3 runs per game by averaging 3.2 during that stretch. The Athletics have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an AL-best 7.8 strikeouts per game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Rays have the edge in the season series, 2-0. The Rays have a 19-13 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Pomeranz takes the mound. Karns (RHP) will be on the hill against the Athletics, who have a 13-20 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - TB, O/U - Over
When leading after 7 innings, Tampa Bay is 9-7, while Oakland is 6-18.
The Rays managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Athletics who are coming in with a 7-9 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
It looks like the Rays have a slight leg up on the Athletics, as the Rays have won their last two games while the Athletics have lost their last four.
When they outhit their opponents, the Athletics are 12-7. The Rays have a 19-3 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 17th in runs, Tampa Bay has earned 170 this season. Oakland ranks eighth with 187 runs.
Tampa Bay and Oakland both rank in the top half of the league in walks. Tampa Bay sits at 14th with 129 this season and Oakland ranks 11th with 136.
The Rays are 16-11 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Athletics are 10-15 when they hit at least one homer.