MLB Betting Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays – Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Matchup at a Glance
When: Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Where: Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida
Point Spread: LA Dodgers -140
Betting Total: 8 runs
Tuesday night will feature an interleague battle of West versus East when the Los Angels Dodgers (31-17) travel to Tropicana Field to take on the Tamp Bay Rays (27-17). Both teams had the day off on Monday, so they should come into this one rested; however, the Dodgers likely enjoyed their day off a little more as they won against the Reds on Sunday, 8-3.
For the Rays, they were beat up by the Yankees with a final score of 13-5. They Dodgers now sit comfortably in the driver’s seat in the NL West, leading the second place Diamondbacks by 5.5 games. The Rays, on the other hand, have seen their lead evaporate in the AL East and now actually trail the Yankees by a game.
Both teams will look for an early advantage on Tuesday in the series with the Dodgers sending Clayton Kershaw (3-0, 3.40 ERA) to the mound to square off with an unannounced (at the time of this writing) starter (or opener) for the Rays. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.
By The Numbers
Offensively, the Dodgers have been the more dangerous team of the two of these. They currently rank 6th in the majors averaging 5.19 runs per game (4.70 on the road). For the Rays, they come in at 19th, averaging 4.43 runs per game (4.32 at home).
On the pitching side, Tampa Bay has been the best team in all of baseball, at least in terms of earned run average. On the season, their pitching staff has an ERA of 2.98 (an even better 2.94 at home). The Dodgers aren’t too bad either, though, as they rank 3rd in the majors with a 3.42 ERA (although it is 4.38 on the road).
Dodgers Look To Bring A-Game To Other Coast
On a team chalked with stars, it is hard not to talk about Cody Bellinger right off the bat. He is having an absolutely phenomenal year and has to be far and away the frontrunner for the NL MVP a little more than a quarter of the way into the season. Thus far, Bellinger is hitting .405/.485/.791 with 17 home runs, 44 runs batted in, 42 runs scored and has even added 7 stolen bases.
Most impressive is how much he has cut down his strikeouts from years past. On the season, he has 27 walks versus just 28 strikeouts. Joc Pederson (14 home runs), Max Muncy (9 home runs) and Alex Verdugo (.323/.370/.532) are also having nice starts to the season.
On the bump for the Dodgers will be ace Clayton Kershaw. While Kershaw may not look like the absolute lockdown ace of old, he is still pretty remarkable when healthy. On the season, Kershaw is 3-0 in 6 starts with a 3.40 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and opponents are hitting just .217 against him. In 39.2 innings, he has allowed 31 hits, 15 earned runs, 7 home runs and has struck out 36 versus 7 walks.
In his last outing, a 6-3 win over the Padres, Kershaw went 7 innings, allowing 5 hits, 1 walks, 3 earned runs, 2 home runs and struck out 5. He will look to build on this outing against the Rays.
Rays Looking To Avoid Slipping In AL East
The Tampa Bay Rays know that with the New York Yankees starting to get healthier and the Boston Red Sox starting to play more consistently, the AL East is going to be brutal this year to win. With that in mind, they do not want to slip any further than they already have and know they must elevate their game to compete.
While the Rays don’t have a bunch of household names, they have had some players playing some really good ball. Austin Meadows has been dynamite for them in the outfield. He is hitting .337/.422/.673 with 9 home runs, 23 runs batted in and 15 runs scored.
Brandon Lowe (.291/.342/.568) leads the team in home runs (10) and runs batted in (27) while Yandy Diaz leads the team in runs scored (26). Between their pitching staff and some unsung heroes on the roster, this team has excelled through the first quarter of the season and will look to continue it on Tuesday.
Dodgers Take Game One
No matter who the Rays throw on Tuesday, I am just not sure that anyone can contain the bats of the Dodgers. Additionally, having the DH at their disposal makes both their offense and their defense more versatile and lethal.
Throw on the fact that the Dodgers are throwing one of the best pitchers to ever lace them up and I think it spells disaster for the Rays on Tuesday. I am taking the Dodgers -140 all day long.