The Tampa Bay Rays (70-59) and Texas Rangers (77-52) will close out a three-game American League series on Wednesday night at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 ET
Tampa Bay Rays at Texas Rangers
Tampa Bay became the first AL team to lose four 1-0 games in a month in 57 years on Tuesday night, as the club has now dropped 10 of their last 11 one-run contests. The Rays have scored five combined runs in losing the first two games of this series, dropping 1.5 games back of the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card race. Tampa Bay is 11-2 as a road underdog of +125 to +150 this season, with the “over” going 9-3 in those affairs.
Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (8-8, 4.32 ERA) has watched the club win his last five outings, including a 5-0 home win over the Oakland Athletics last time out, allowing four hits in a complete-game effort. The right-hander is 4-3 with a 5.26 ERA in eight road outings, with opposing hitters batting .285 against him. Cobb didn’t factor into the decision of his only career start against the Rangers on May 31, 2011, allowing three runs and four hits over 6.1 innings in a 5-4 home win.
Texas has won six of its last seven games, while also posting a tremendous 11-1-1 record in its last 13 series inside its own ballpark. The Rangers have tallied a 23-13 record against AL East opponents, which is the best such mark for any Junior Circuit team versus that particular division. The club is also a tremendous 18-9 in August, which is the most wins in the majors. Texas is 49-20 as a home favorite of -150 to -175 the last two-plus years.
Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison (15-7, 3.04 ERA) has led the club to four wins in his last five outings, which includes going eight innings in each of his last two efforts against the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays. The left-hander is 5-3 with a 3.02 ERA in 10 home outings, surrendering just four home runs in 65.2 frames. In five career appearances (two starts) versus the Rays, Harrison has tallied a 1-1 record and 3.79 ERA.
Sports bettors will likely back the Rays due to their 4-1 mark in Cobb’s last five starts as a road underdog of +110 to +150, while the Rangers are 1-11 in Harrison’s last 12 home starts against winning teams.