Oakland Continues Opening Road Trip
The Tampa Bay Rays go for a fourth straight win to open the 2022 campaign when they host the Oakland Athletics in the first of a four-game series on Monday. Oakland is coming off its first victory of the season, topping the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. Tampa Bay swept a three-game set with the Baltimore Orioles, putting it atop the American League East. This will be an interesting contest, so before you make a bet online, check out our game preview.
Athletics Try to Build on Initial Win
It was nearly a lost weekend for the Oakland Athletics, but they were able to pull out the series finale against the host Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, giving new manager Mark Kotsay his first major league victory. Those victories might be a little few and far between for an Oakland squad that is clearly in rebuilding mode.
The Athletics got some solid pitching in shutting down the Phillies on Sunday. Five pitchers combined on a three-hitter after Philadelphia had scored 13 runs in the first two games of the series. Oakland is going to need that kind of performance from the mound until it gets a consistent offensive attack.
Taking the ball for the start on Monday will be right-hander Paul Blackburn, who is starting his sixth season with the Athletics. Blackburn was 1-4 in nine starts last season, recording a 5.87 ERA while striking out 26 and walking 10.
Second baseman Tony Kemp has been the most consistent batter, notching a .333 batting average. Kemp had three hits and two RBIs in Sunday’s win.
Rays Looking Solid to Start 2022
Although it came against a Baltimore Orioles team that it has dominated since the beginning of the 2021 season, an opening three-game sweep has the Tampa Bay Rays full of confidence. The team was boosted by the first start from newly acquired Corey Kluber, who threw 4⅔ scoreless innings on Sunday, coming out only because the team wants to manage the 36-year-old’s workload.
“I didn’t really control counts the way I’d like to eventually,” Kluber said after Sunday’s win. “But at the end of the day, I made good pitches when I needed to to keep them off the scoreboard.”
Keeping Tampa Bay off the scoreboard isn’t going to be easy as it has a solid lineup. Shortstop Wader Franco has gotten off to a hot start, hitting .545 with six hits through three games, including a double and three RBIs.
Catcher Francisco Meija leads the team with four RBIs in just four at-bats, hitting a home run and scoring twice. Second baseman Brandon Lowe has the team’s other home run, driving in three and scoring twice in 11 at-bats.
Right-hander Luis Patino will get the start for Monday’s contest. The 22-year-old had 15 starts among his 19 appearances for the Rays last season, going 5-3 with a 4.31 ERA and 74 strikeouts.
Athletics vs Rays Head-to-Head
The Oakland Athletics had a slight edge in the season series with the Tampa Bay Rays a season ago, winning four of the seven matchups. The teams split a four-game series at Tropicana Field in April 2021 before the Athletics took two of three in a May series in Oakland.
Those seven matchups were the first since Tampa Bay topped Oakland in the 2019 American League Wild Card Game. The Rays have looked like the much better team this season, which is why the MLB lines are giving them the edge in the series opener.
Athletics vs Rays Game Information
- Game: Athletics (1-2) vs Rays (3-0)
- Location: Tropicana Field
- Day/Time: Monday, April 11th. 6:40 p.m. ET
- Athletics vs Rays Live Stream: MLB.tv
Athletics vs Rays Betting Lines
Athletics vs Rays Prediction
The Oakland Athletics are going to struggle and they’re facing a Tampa Bay Rays team that has it together in the early going of the campaign. Look for the Tampa Bay pitching staff to shut down the Oakland offense, giving the Rays their fourth straight victory.
When doing your MLB betting, take Tampa Bay to get the win at home.