Game: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Tampa Bay Rays
Time: 6:40 p.m.
Odds: Dodgers +107, Rays -117
The Tampa Bay Rays had to wait more than two years for an opportunity to get rid of that bad taste after losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2020 World Series in six games. The Rays finally have a chance to do so as they begin a three-game series against the Dodgers in St. Petersburg, Florida, tonight.
Since their clash in the Fall Classic two years ago, neither team has missed a beat. The Rays had their most successful season in franchise history in 2021 (100-62) while Los Angeles had the second-most victories in National League history last year (111-51). As the season approaches the halfway point, both teams are now atop their respective divisions, with Tampa Bay leading the majors with a 37-15 record.
The Rays have excelled at Tropicana Field, going an incredible 24-5 there. To start the week, Tampa Bay defeated the Blue Jays in three of four games. The team finished the series with a 6-3 victory on Thursday to move up to 5-2 on its current 10-game homestand. In the series finale, Tampa Bay equaled its season-high of seven steals, leaving Toronto with no chance against the Rays on the basepaths.
Left-hander Jalen Beeks (1-2, 4.68 ERA) will try to ensure that Tampa Bay maintains its domination at home. Beeks pitched last Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers. He went two innings, gave up one run on one hit, walked two, and struck out three. Beeks has one career appearance against the Dodgers, pitching 4.2 innings back in 2019. He gave up five runs on eight hits.
Beeks will go up against right-hander Noah Syndergaard (1-3, 5.88), who is seeking his first victory since April 30. Last Saturday, Syndergaard pitched against the St. Louis Cardinals and received a no-decision after allowing three runs on four hits over five innings. He had four strikeouts, one walk, and he hit a batter. Syndergaard has made two career starts against the Rays and is 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA.
The Dodgers were still able to capture two out of three games from Atlanta, despite the fact that Los Angeles is coming off a 4-3 setback to the Braves on Wednesday. Prior to that, the Dodgers lost three of four games to St. Louis and were outscored 32-23. Twice in that series, LA gave up double-digit runs.
Los Angeles, which is 14-13 away from home this year, will finish a 10-game road trip against the Rays. The Dodgers have won 12 of their last 18 games and are 4-2 SU in the last six against Tampa Bay. As mentioned, the Rays are 5-2 SU in their last seven games and 13-4 SU in their last 17 interleague games.
The Rays are the top Over team in baseball with a 31-18-3 O/U (63.3%) record. The Dodgers also trend Over (28-22-1) and have the fifth-highest Over percentage (56%) in MLB. The Over has cashed in four of the last five Dodgers games and each of the last six Rays games.
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