The MLB odds board shows the Rays favored, but not by a large margin whatsoever. Are we backing Alex Colome and the Rays or J.A. Happ and the Mariners with our baseball picks tonight?
Tampa Bay is a -120 favorite in MLB odds to grab the win, with a Seattle victory priced out at right around +110.
If you're itching to get in a play on the total, the number available for now is seven runs, which signals that we should be in for somewhat of a pitcher's duel this evening. Let's break down each team's form ahead of tonight's matchup.
Tampa Bay Rays (Colome)
The Rays may still be in first place in the AL East, but things are a lot more dicey now that they've lost three games in a row. They've only managed a grand total of three runs in those losses, so a breakout offensively would be exactly what the doctor ordered for Tampa Bay up against left-hander J.A. Happ.
As for the scheduled starter for the Rays, that would be Alex Colome, who has been rather hit or miss so far this season. He may own a 3-1 win-loss record, but we can't lose sight of his 4.81 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. Consistency has been a big issue for the right-hander, but he should at least be full of confidence after shutting out the Athletics over five innings in his most recent outing.
If we dive deeper into the numbers, Colome has actually been pitching a lot better than his surface ERA may suggest. He has a 3.61 SIERA on the year to go with a solid 7.03 K/9 rate, and he'll have the benefit of pitching at home in spacious Tropicana Field this evening. If Colome can avoid getting beat up by Nelson Cruz, he should be in for a reasonably effective showing.
Seattle Mariners (Happ)
After a poor 11-17 start, it appears as if the Mariners are starting to figure things out. They've gone 10-6 over their last 16 games overall and will enter tonight's matchup having won three of four. Yesterday they got a great outing out of Roenis Elias and parlayed that into a 4-1 victory in the series opener in Tampa.
Now it's J.A. Happ's turn to try and impress. The southpaw has posted very good overall numbers, going 3-1 with a 3.61 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. That being said, he was tagged in his most recent start, allowing four hits and four earned runs over just two innings in a 5-4 road loss against Baltimore.
Needless to say, Happ will be eager to get back on track this evening, although it's safe to say he's been far better in the pitcher-friendly confines of Safeco Field than he has out on the road. Away from Seattle, the left-hander owns a 5.57 ERA in four starts.
Happ may have the better overall statistics this season, but he was rocked badly in his latest start and could come out shaky here tonight. The Rays also have some lefty-mashers on their team, Evan Longoria in particular.
We also think Tampa Bay could be undervalued here in general. They've lost three in a row and are trotting out a starter that has had unfavorable results for the most part. However, when we look closer at the numbers, we see Colome is due for some positivity, and it could very well come tonight. There's a reason this total is as low as it is on the MLB odds board.
So, with our MLB picks, we're going to take on the small amount of chalk and side with the Rays to earn the W.
MLB Pick: Tampa Bay Rays -113 at The Greek