Fri 14/08/2015 - 03:15 EDT

Weekend MLB Series Preview: Tampa Bay Rays Vs. Texas Rangers

Weekend MLB Series Preview: Tampa Bay Rays Vs. Texas Rangers

Pitching Preview

Friday Pitchers: Nathan Karns (7-5, 3.52 ERA) vs. Martin Perez (1-2, 5.81 ERA)

Karns has been a reliable pitcher for the Rays in his first full season in the Majors. Karns’ biggest strength has been his ability to generate strikeouts, currently sitting at a very respectable 8.7 strikeouts per 9 innings. Having pitched just 27 games in his career (all starts), Karns has only faced the Rangers once in his career, beating them in May in Tampa while posting a season high in total pitches and striking out 9 over 7 innings.

Martin Perez has been trying to get back into form after returning from Tommy John surgery just after the All-Star break. His first few starts back were unimpressive and included him getting rocked for 8 runs in just one inning on July 28th. He has since produced back-to-back quality starts and will be a pivotal player in the Rangers Wild Card chase.

Probable Pitchers for Saturday’s Game: Chris Archer (10-8, 2.62 ERA) vs. Colby Lewis (12-5, 4.61 ERA)

With 190 strikeouts in 154.2 innings pitched and a WHIP of 1.002, the 2015 All-Star should garner some serious CY Young consideration especially if the Rays raise up the standings and capture a Wild Card spot. Archer’s lone outing against the Rangers in 2015 was very forgettable, but the Rays ace has successful in the past with 37 strikeouts in only 23.1 innings pitched, a colossal rate of 14.3 strikeouts per 9.

Colby Lewis has taken the right approach to his game this season, improving across the board compared to a laughable 2014. He still has some work to do to get back to the level he was at when the Rangers were playing in back-to-back World Series. Outside of his record, there is little to indicate he can outpitch Archer on a late Saturday start.  

Probable Pitchers for Sunday’s Game: Tampa Bay Pitcher TBD vs. Yovani Gallardo (8-9, 3.33 ERA)

Tampa Bay has not yet selected a pitcher for Sunday's afternoon game, but the fact that Tampa Bay did have two off days in the previous week, makes the potential pitcher option a little harder to predict. The pitcher with the greatest odds of making a start is Erasmo Ramirez. Ramirez has made 18 starts in 2015 (25 total appearances), beginning the season as a reliever before getting thrust into a starting role. He is 9-3 as a starter and has allowed one run or less in 11 of his 18 starts.

Gallardo has performed admirably in his first season with the Rangers. His ERA is on pace to be his career lowest, but his strikeout rate is at a career low. He has only faced the Rays twice over his 9 year career, going 1-1 and only allowing 2 earned runs over 12.1 innings. Gallardo has been great at Rangers Ballpark, with an ERA of 3.11 and allowing only 5 home runs over 66.2 innings. The last game of this series seems to be leaning towards a tight pitching affair.

Something to Watch…  

Opposite Styles in the Wild Card Battle

The Rays are one of the MLB worst batting teams, the Rangers have given up nearly the most runs per games in the Majors. The Rays allow the lowest batting average in the MLB, the Rangers are better in just about every offensive category than the Rays. The two teams are fighting for a Wild Card spot, but for either team to actually make some noise and make it to the playoffs, they are going to need to find some balance. 

Category : Betting Picks

Tag : baseball , mlb , mlb betting , mlb weekend series , Rangers , Rays , tampa bay rays , Texas Rangers

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