Date/Time: September 18th, 7:10 PM ET
MLB Betting Odds from BetOnline Sportsbook
Probable Starters: Holland (Texas) vs. Archer (Tampa Bay)
Moneyline: Rays -125
The AL Wild Card chase remains on for both the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays. These two teams are locked up in the midst of a heck of a fight, and they are surely going to be at each other's throats in this MLB betting battle on ESPN.
Texas hadn't just lost seven straight games coming into play on Tuesday night, but it hadn't even led in any of those games. The team did get back on the winning track to force a tie with the Rays atop the AL Wild Card standings, and both teams are one in the loss column clear of the Cleveland Indians with others still clearly within striking distance. On Wednesday, it will be up to LHP Derek Holland to top Tampa Bay. The first problem that Holland is going to have is the fact that the Rays hit the ball better against lefties than righties, which could be a disaster in its own right. Holland though, has led his team to an 18-12 record thus far this season, and he has a 3.49 ERA to show for his work. Of late though, Holland has been a disaster. He has lost his last three starts, and in those games, he has allowed a total of 18 runs, 15 of which have been earned. He also has just seven strikeouts against seven walks in that stretch.
The Rays are trying their best, and they know just how important this series is, but they really need to sure up all of their starting pitching slots if they are going to end up making the playoffs. RHP Jeremy Hellickson certainly didn't do the job last night, and he has consistently been the lesser of all of the Tampa Bay pitchers this year. Tonight, it's up to RHP Chris Archer to continue on the right path. Archer is one of the many young ones that Manager Joe Madden has at his disposal, and he is going to continue to count on these kids to pitch his team to the second season. Archer is 9-7 on the season with a 3.03 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP, and he is coming off of a great performance against the Minnesota Twins in which he allowed just three hits in seven scoreless innings, striking out seven.
Tampa Bay is the better of these two teams in our estimation, and we don't really think that the rally last night for the Rangers is going to keep them out of trouble. Especially at home, we like the Rays with Archer on the mound to come up big and perhaps shut out the visitors.
Texas Rangers @ Tampa Bay Rays Pick: Tampa Bay Rays -125