4:05 p.m. PT at Tampa Bay
Rays -140 vs Athletics (9½)
Two teams heading in different directions. Tampa Bay just completed a three-game sweep at home against Cleveland, scoring 19 runs. Oakland dropped three at Detroit, allowing 34 runs. This doesn’t sound like a 1-0 matchup to us. And both starting pitchers figure to get hit. Add to that the tenuous situation with an overworked Oakland bullpen.
Oakland righty Sean Gallagher (1-1, 4.50 ERA) lasted four innings when last facing the Rays in August 2008. Jeff Niemann (3-3, 5.38) is best known for being 6-foot-9, 280-pound frame. Not the physique of your average pitcher. Still Niemann is in a good situation facing an A’s lineup not known for much pop. With Tampa Bay on the rise, there are many betting possibilities here.
Our best play is simply taking the Rays. But we can see parlaying the over and playing Tampa Bay -1½. Of Tampa Bay’s last 11 wins, 9 have been by at least 2 runs. RAYS.
Added suggestions. OVER 9½, Tampa Bay -1½ (+160)