The Phillies are kicking off a six-game road trip. They won only one out of three in their last series against the Nationals, dropping the finale 5-4 on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.
Bryce Harper was 2 for 2 with two walks and one run. Nick Castellanos added a home run and a double. He drove in two runs. The Rays are playing the first of six games at home after concluding a six-game road trip (3-3).
They lost two of three against the Mariners in their last series, dropping the finale 7-6 on Sunday at T-Mobile Park. Isaac Paredes went 2 for 2 with a home run and two RBIs.
Randy Arozarena added a home run and two runs. The teams are meeting for the first time since August 25, 2021, when the Rays finished off a two-game series sweep with a 7-4 victory at Citizens Bank Park.
ON THE MOUND
Aaron Nola (7-5, 4.51 ERA) is set for the start for Philadelphia. The righty allowed four runs over five innings in his last start, an 8-5 road win over the Cubs on Wednesday. He earned the win, giving up seven hits while striking out four and walking three.
For Tampa Bay, RHP Zach Eflin (9-3, 3.29 ERA) will toe the rubber. In his last start on Wednesday, Eflin took a no-decision on the road against the Diamondbacks.
He threw seven innings and gave up two runs on seven hits, striking out seven, in the 3-2 victory. The righty is tied for third in the AL in wins.
AT THE PLATE
The Philadelphia offense is averaging 4.5 runs per game for the season, with a slash line of .260/.324/.423. Castellanos leads the team in OPS at .874. The right fielder is slashing .316/.358/.516 with 12 home runs, 54 RBIs, and 50 runs over 81 games.
Over the last five games, however, Philadelphia has averaged 7.0 runs a game while slashing better across the board (.297/.344/.544). Against right-handed pitchers like Eflin this season, the Phils have a .747 OPS.
Brandon Marsh is the team’s strongest performer against right-handers with a .884 OPS in 178 at-bats. Tampa Bay is slashing .264/.336/.462 for the season and averaging 5.6 runs per game, third-best in MLB.
Four Rays hitters have an OPS of .800 or better, led by Yandy Diaz (.914). The third baseman has 12 home runs, 39 RBIs, and 55 runs scored with a slash line of .318/.403/.511.
The Rays have a .792 OPS against right-handers in 2023, the second highest in the league. With a .968 OPS over 177 at-bats, Luke Raley has been their best hitter against right-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Philadelphia is on a nine-game winning streak on the road, bringing their record to 22-23 in 2023. The Phils have scored 4.5 runs per game away from home while allowing 5.0 runs.
Tampa Bay has gone 34-10 at their home park this season, averaging 5.9 runs per game while surrendering 3.7. Tampa Bay is 7-3 in the last 10 games between the teams at Tropicana Field with an average scoreline of 5.2-3.8.
The Rays lead the AL East by five games over the Orioles. The Phillies are third in the NL East, 12 games behind the Braves.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
TB Rays (-145)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.