Seattle Bringing Up Heralded Prospect For Debut
The Tampa Bay Rays go for a seventh straight win when they take on the host Seattle Mariners in the finale of a four-game weekend series on Sunday. Tampa Bay has taken the first three games of the series and is in second place in the AL East standings, trailing the first-place New York Yankees by 1½ games. Seattle has dropped six straight and is percentage points ahead of the Texas Rangers for third place in the AL West. The Mariners are hoping to get a splash from the MLB debut of pitching prospect George Kirby, but before you make any bet online on this contest, check out our in-depth preview.
Rays Go Deep in Taking Third Game of Series
The power of the Tampa Bay Rays came through on Saturday night, as Brandon Lowe hit a pair of solo home runs and Manuel Margot added a grand slam in an 8-2 victory. Lowe had his first multi-homer game since the 2021 season, while Margot followed up his go-ahead pinch-hit home run on Friday night with his first career grand slam on Saturday.
“That was really encouraging, good for Brandon,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said after Saturday’s win. “I know he likes hitting home runs. We like it when he hits home runs.”
Lowe, who hit 39 home runs a season ago, had just three this season before Saturday’s outburst. He’s batting just .214 with four doubles, five home runs, 11 RBIs and 18 runs scored.
Margot has been hitting well all season, though his two home runs in the last two games are his only round-trippers of the season thus far. Margot is batting .313 with three doubles, a triple, 19 RBIs and nine runs scored.
Left-hander Ryan Yarbrough will make his second start of the season in Sunday’s game after missing all of April with a groin injury. Yarbrough struggled in his season debut on Tuesday against the Oakland Athletics, lasting just 2⅓ innings and allowing five runs on six hits, including a grand slam, while striking out two and walking three. Yarbrough was 9-7 in 21 starts and 30 overall appearances in 2021.
Mariners Hoping To Get on Track with Young Hurler
The Seattle Mariners are hoping the future is now, as Kirby will make his major league debut after playing in the Double-A Texas League this season. The 24-year-old was the 20th pick in the 2018 MLB Draft and has gone 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 24⅔ innings with the Mariners’ Arkansas club. He averaged 97.3 miles per hour on his fastball over the 2021 campaign.
To take some pressure off Kirby, the Mariners will need to score some runs, which they’ve done to varying degrees over their current six-game slide. Seattle put seven runs on the board in Friday night’s loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, but it has managed a total of just seven in the other five losses in the streak, including being shut out two times.
Shortstop J.P. Crawford has been the team’s most consistent hitter, but he left Saturday’s game in the fifth inning due to back spasms. Crawford’s status for Sunday is uncertain, but Seattle could use him, as he’s batting .340 with six doubles, a triple, four home runs, 10 RBIs and 14 runs scored.
Third baseman Eugenio Suarez followed up Friday’s two-homer game with an 0-for-4 night on Saturday, striking out three times. Suarez is batting just .210 this season, though he has a team-high six home runs to go with six doubles, a triple, 17 RBIs and 15 runs scored.
Rays vs Mariners Head-to-Head
The Tampa Bay Rays have already clinched the season series against the Seattle Mariners, but with a win on Sunday, they can make it six straight series played between the two teams in T-Mobile Park that has ended in a sweep. Seattle won all four matchups a season ago, but Tampa Bay was 3-0 as the visitor in the 2019 campaign.
The Rays’ sweep that season reversed a trend that saw Seattle go 3-0 at home against Tampa Bay in three straight seasons from 2016 to 2018. Looking at the MLB lines, Sunday’s contest is anyone’s ballgame, with the red-hot Rays getting only a slight edge over the host team.
Rays vs Mariners Game Information
- Game: Rays (18-10) vs Mariners (12-16)
- Location: T-Mobile Park
- Day/Time: Sunday, May 8, 4:10 p.m. ET
- Rays vs Mariners Live Stream: MLB TV
Rays vs Mariners Betting Lines
Tampa Bay Rays +1½ -190 +108 7½ -115o 3½ -125o 3½ -105u
R. Yarbrough -L
Seattle Mariners -1½ +160 -118 7½ -105u 3½ -120o 3½ -110u
G. Kirby -R
Rays vs Mariners Prediction
The debut of Kirby should bring some excitement to the Seattle Mariners and their fans, but he still has to get the job done on the mound. If Crawford can’t go, it will make it even harder on the Mariners. We don’t see the Tampa Bay Rays losing this one, as they complete the four-game sweep.
When doing your MLB betting, take Tampa Bay to win on the road again.