Date/Time: August 11th, 8:05 PM ET
Probable Starters: Hellickson (Tampa Bay) vs. Kershaw (Los Angeles)
Moneyline: Dodgers -190
Coming into this week, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays were two of the hottest teams in baseball. The Dodgers have proven to be the better of the two for the time being, winning the first two games of this series. They’ll go for the sweep on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball this week.
The Rays are starting to drift a little closer to the wrong side of the playoffs with this series, as they are just one up in the loss column against the Oakland A’s and three up in the loss column against the Baltimore Orioles. There are also just 5.5 total games separating Tampa Bay and the seventh place Kansas City Royals, who are on a hot streak at the moment. Manager Joe Maddon is going to be counting on RHP Jeremy Hellickson in this game. Hellickson hasn’t pitched the greatest ball this year, but he is finding ways to keep the Rays in games for the most part. It isn’t all that often that he has a horrid outing, and that’s why he is 10-5 to show for his work in his starts thus far on the season. The righty has a suspect 4.77 ERA on the season, but prior to these last two starts against the Arizona Diamondbacks, he had posted seven straight starts with three or fewer runs allowed.
Can the Dodgers really end this year with the best record in baseball? Don’t totally discount the idea. LA is already 6.5-games up in the NL West, which is a whopping 16-game swing from where the team was just two months ago when Manager Don Mattingly was on the verge of being fired. Mattingly survived though, and now, LA is just 4.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves, who have the best mark in the bigs. LHP Clayton Kershaw will be dealing on Sunday. There is a reason that this southpaw is one of the Cy Young favorites this year. Kershaw might only have a 10-7 record, but he has a 1.91 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. Kershaw hasn’t allowed more than four earned runs in a start this year, and he has only had two outings, both of which were in April, that lasted fewer than six innings. To make matters even better, Kershaw only has a total of two walks in his last four starts.
Not that the history is extensive here, but the Rays have never won a game at Dodger Stadium in franchise history. There’s a first time for everything though, and we do think that Sunday is the night that something rock solid could happen. Tampa Bay is probably going to lose this game more than half the time, but there is no way that it should be a +178 underdog in any situation in baseball.
Tampa Bay Rays @ Los Angeles Dodgers Pick: Tampa Bay Rays +178
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.