Tampa Bay Rays vs Oakland Athletics (AL Wild Card): Predictions & Odds at NJ Sportsbooks

Prediction Final Score: Oakland 3, Tampa Bay 2

How to Watch Tampa Bay Rays vs Oakland Athletics

Where: RingCentral Coliseum, Oakland, California.

When: Wednesday, October 2nd at 8:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): National TV: ESPN. Rays TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun, WDAE 620 AM. Athletics TV/Radio: NBC Sports California, KTRB 860 AM.

Team Notes

Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays won over 90 games for the second straight season under manager Kevin Cash, finishing with a record of 96-66.

Tampa Bay has a 1.7% chance to take the World Series according to Baseball-Reference.

Fangraphs is a little more optimistic about the Rays’ title chances at 6.3%.

Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics finished with a 97-65 record for the second consecutive season.

The Athletics are once again defying the odds and making a run as one of the better teams in the American League.

Oakland has a 9.1% shot to win the World Series according to Baseball-Reference.

The Athletics are not favorites of the algorithm at Fangraphs as they rate Oakland’s title shot at 2.7% probability.

Pitcher Notes

Rays: Charlie Morton (16-6, 3.05 ERA)

Morton put together another incredible season in 2019, allowing a 3.05 ERA, striking out 240 batters and sporting the 5th best WHIP in the American League at 1.084.

  • The Rays’ righty finished the season with four straight quality starts.
  • He has only allowed five homers in his last 10 starts of the year.
  • In his two starts against Oakland this season, Morton posted a 0.68 ERA.

Athletics: Sean Manaea (4-0, 1.21 ERA)

After Manaea returned from an injury that kept him out most of the season, he was superb in September, throwing 29.2 innings while only allowing four earned runs.

  • In his last start, Manaea threw six innings, allowing just one run and struck out five.
  • Manaea, not known as a strikeout pitcher, sent down 30 batters in the 29.2 frames he threw over the month.
  • Three of the four runs that Manaea allowed in September came via solo home runs.
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Hitter Notes

Tampa Bay Rays

Very few hitters on the Rays roster have faced Manaea in their careers but Tampa Bay hit .255 against lefties with a .748 OPS on the season.

  • OF Kevin Kiermaier is 1 for 3 versus Manaea with one strikeout in his career.
  • OF Avisail Garcia is 1 for 3 against the A’s lefty with one strikeout.
  • C Travis D’Arnaud is 2 for 2 against Manaea with one walk and one RBI.

Oakland Athletics

Oakland finished the season having trouble scoring runs as they hit 2 for 43 with runners in scoring position over their final road trip of 2019.

  • 1B Matt Olson is 4 for 12 against Morton in his career with one homer and three RBI.
  • SS Marcus Semien is 5 for 14 versus the Rays’ right-hander with two doubles and two walks.
  • DH Khris Davis is 3 for 21 versus Morton with two homers and seven strikeouts.

Roster Notes

Tampa Bay Rays

  • If Manaea starts then the Rays will likely sit lefties Ji-Man Choi, Brandon Lowe, and Joey Wendle.
  • Expect righty slugger Jesus Aguilar to get the start at first base if the A’s go with the lefty Manaea.
  • Two-way player Brendan McKay could work as a pinch hitter and relief pitcher in the game if placed on the roster.

Oakland Athletics

  • 2B Jurickson Profar should get the start at 2B due to his switch-hitting profile and because he’s 4 for 11 lifetime versus Morton with a solo homer.
  • OFs Mark Canha, Ramon Laureano and Rex Grossman are all game-time decisions as they are suffering from a variety of nagging injuries.
  • SP Sean Manaea is rehabbing his throwing shoulder and may see a few starts with the MLB club before the end of 2019.

Game Predictions Rays vs Athletics

As wonderful as Morton is, he rarely goes more than six innings, so the Rays bullpen will have to take this game to the finish line and that could present an advantage for the Athletics.

In Morton’s last start against Oakland, he held the A’s to one run over six innings only to see the bullpen give up the lead with four runs in the bottom of the 9th inning. The A’s have a collection of hitters that present a tough challenge and any number of them can deliver a big hit in the latter innings.

The game should remain close through the first several innings but open up once the teams get to their collective bullpens. Look for a big home run in the later innings to push Oakland ahead as these two teams should keep the run total low and the tension high.

Prediction Final Score: Oakland 3, Tampa Bay 2

Game Odds Tampa Bay Rays vs Oakland Athletics

The latest odds for the AL Wild Card game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland Athletics are provided by New Jersey sportsbooks.

Moneyline

SportsbookRaysAthletics
888Sport NJ+110-134
DraftKings+114-129
Unibet NJ+110-134