MLB Betting Preview: Miami Marlins vs. Tampa Bay Rays – Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Matchup at a Glance
Where: Marlins Park in Miami, Florida
When: Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Spread: Tampa Bay Rays -175
The brief battle of Florida wraps up tonight with the second of a two-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Miami Marlins. Tampa Bay won the opener of the series on Tuesday, blanking the Marlins 4-0.
Tampa Bay has been one of the surprise stories of the 2019 season, with the Rays sitting in first place in the AL East, a game ahead of the Yankees. The Rays are hoping to get a bit hotter, though, as they've dropped three of five entering tonight's contest.
Miami has been what most expected, a last-place team, as the Marlins sit at the bottom of the NL East, already 13.5 games behind first-place Philadelphia. Tuesday's loss to Tampa Bay was Miami's sixth straight and 13th in its last 15 outings.
The moneyline for this contest has the Tampa Bay Rays at -175 and the Miami Marlins at +165. The over/under has been set at 7.5 runs.
The Marlins' best chance at winning against their in-state rival might be tonight, with Jose Urena taking the mound. Urena has pitched 10 2/3 career innings against the Rays, notching a 0.84 ERA though not recording a decision. On the season, the right-hander is 1-5 with a 4.82 ERA, notching 32 strikeouts and 15 walks in 46.2 innings of work. He is coming off a seven-inning outing against the Cubs last week in which he held Chicago to one earned run and five hits in a no-decision.
Miami's offense has not exactly been overwhelming this season, with the Marlins scoring just 2.6 runs per game and batting .218 as a team. Shortstop Miguel Rojas leads Miami with a .238 batting average, but the power numbers are nearly non-existent for this team. Catcher Jorge Alfaro's five home runs set the pace, while veteran leftfielder Curtis Granderson leads the team with just 11 RBI.
The Rays will counter with well-used Ryne Stanek getting the start. Stanek has made 16 appearances this season, including 10 starts, notching an 0-1 record with a 2.57 ERA. Stanek hasn't had a single appearance over two innings this season, so Kevin Cash certainly won't be looking for a deep run from his starter. The deep Tampa Bay bullpen will likely get plenty of work in this one.
Offensively, Tampa Bay would like to see another big night from rightfielder Avisail Garcia, who went 3-for-4 with three RBI in the opener, including a 471-foot home run that is the longest by a rival player ever at Marlins Park. Garcia has three home runs in his last six games and seven total on the season, and he also paces the Rays in batting average at .296. Third baseman Yandy Diaz has a team-best nine homers and 22 RBI, while centerfielder Tommy Pham is batting .284 with five home runs and 18 RBI.
Rays Complete Sweep
Tampa Bay knows that the second-place Yankees are getting healthier, while third-place Boston is heating up. The Rays have to win games against the lower-tier teams in the league to maintain their AL East lead. As good as Urena has been against Tampa Bay in the past, it's hard to picture him shutting down this offense for long. Because of that, my money is on the Rays at -185.