Tampa Bay looks to avoid being swept by the NL West-leading San Diego Padres.
San Diego Padres at Tampa Bay Rays – Day
San Diego hammered out three home runs in picking up a 5-4 road victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night. The victory moved the team’s record to 19-13 on the road (+1,060), giving them the top record in the National League away from home. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez continued his red-hot month of June, as he ranks first in the National League in batting average in June (.428). The rest of the league is starting to realize that the Padres are not a fluke this season, with the team recording a 75-54 record since August 1, 2009. This series is the first for San Diego on artificial turf and it doesn’t seem to be bothering them with victories in the opening two games
Padres SP Wade LeBlanc is an even 4-4 with a 2.88 ERA in 12 starts this season (+500). San Diego has won his last three outings, outscoring the opposition by a 13-4 margin. The left-hander is 2-1 with a 4.35 ERA in four road starts (+310), issuing nine walks and striking out 10 in 20.2 innings of work. Since August 29, 2009, the Padres have won seven of his nine road starts, with him tallying a 4-1 record and 3.81 ERA over that span. LeBlanc has made four daytime starts, posting a 1-2 record and 2.28 ERA, as he’s made just seven daytime appearances in his career (2-4, 3.63 ERA).
Tampa Bay’s players only meeting didn’t produce a victory last night, as the team is 10-17 over its past 27 games, after jumping out to a 32-12 record. “I just wanted to let the guys know or remind the guys that we’re an awesome team, a very good team, and that whoever said it was going to be smooth all the time…there’s going to be some rocky parts of the road,” first baseman Carlos Pena said. Rays third baseman Evan Longoria must get things going to get the team back on track, as he’s collected four hits in his last 30 at-bats. The current homestand begins a stretch for the Rays of playing 13 of 19 games at home leading up to the All-Star break. Currently the team is 18-17 at Tropicana Field this season (-1,120).
Rays SP Matt Garza is 7-5 with a 4.16 ERA in 14 starts this season (-180), but has allowed 12 home runs in only 88.2 innings of work. The right-hander is carrying a 2-1 record in June despite having an inflated 10.66 ERA over three starts. He has allowed 15 runs and 22 hits over just 12.2 innings of work this month. Garza brings a perfect 2-0 record and 2.29 ERA in three daytime starts, as he’s managed to allow just one of his 12 home runs in 19.2 frames under the sun.
Bettors may decided to drop the hammer on the home team in this contest, after finding the Padres 3-4 as a road underdog of +150 to +175 (+60) this season and 12-23 in this spot the past three years (-340). The Rays are sitting in a money spot, bringing a 18-8 mark to the table against left-handed starters in 2010 (+700).