The Tampa Bay Rays (80-64) host the Texas Rangers (63-81) at Tropicana Field on Saturday. The Rangers took Friday’s series opener 4-3, their third head-to-head victory in five games this season. Starter Martin Perez went 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits, to get the win, and Jose Leclerc earned his sixth save with a scoreless ninth. Nathaniel Lowe was 1 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs in the win. Francisco Mejia went 3 for 4 with two doubles and two RBIs for the Rays.
ON THE MOUND
Jon Gray (7-6, 3.70 ERA) is in line to get the start for Texas. The righty allowed one run over 3.2 innings in his last start, a 10-6 road defeat against the Marlins on Monday. He scattered three hits while striking out five in the no-decision. Gray has made one previous start against the Rays this season, a 4-3 home loss on June 1. He surrendered one run on three hits over seven innings, striking out 12 and walking two. RHP Shawn Armstrong (2-2, 4.70 ERA) takes the mound for Tampa Bay. He has made two appearances against the Rangers this season, both in relief, holding opposing hitters scoreless over two innings (0-0, 0.00) with three strikeouts and one walk. In his last appearance on Tuesday, Armstrong came on in relief on the road against the Blue Jays. He threw 1.2 innings and gave up two runs on four hits, striking out two and walking one in the 4-2 victory.
AT THE PLATE
Over the last five games, Texas has averaged 5.6 runs a game, up from their season average of 4.5, while performing better across the board (.254/.310/.520). Against righties like Armstrong this season, the Rangers have a .685 OPS. Adolis Garcia has been the team’s biggest slugger against right-handers with a .478 slugging percentage in 368 at-bats. Tampa Bay is averaging only 4.2 runs per game in the last five, consistent with their season average. The Rays have a .688 OPS against right-handers in 2022. With a .806 OPS over 336 at-bats, Yandy Diaz has been their best hitter against right-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Texas is 33-40 on the road in 2022, scoring 4.7 runs per game while allowing 4.2 runs. Tampa Bay has gone 47-25 at home this season, averaging 4.2 runs per game while surrendering 3.3. Texas is 6-4 in the last 10 games between the teams at Tropicana Field with an average scoreline of 4.1-2.9.
The Rangers are third in the AL West, 31 games behind the division-leading Astros. The Rays are third in the AL East, seven games behind the Yankees. They currently occupy one of the Wild Card spots, sitting third with a magic number of zero.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Tampa Bay Rays
Want up to a $1K risk free bet for this pick?
Claim with today!
If you need more news, information and predictions, head over to our MLB hub page for all your baseball needs!
*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.