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Rays vs. Athletics MLB Betting Preview-July, 21st

The Oakland Athletics come out tonight as the baseball batting favorites as they open a four-game series versus the Tampa Bay Rays at the Oakland Coliseum. The following are the odds for fans who bet on MLB:

Rays +1½ (-190) 8 (-110) +108
Athletics -1½ (+165) 8 (-110) -118

The A’s were shut-out 7-0 by the Houston Astros last night, by the California team already had the series well in hand thanks to two previous wins. Oakland’s starter Daniel Mengden (1-5) walked three batters – one with the bases loaded – in the second inning. The rookie has a 9.33 ERA in his previous four starts after recording a 2.81 ERA in his first four major league outings. The Athletics are 4-2 since returning from the All Star break. On the other hand, the Rays are fresh from winning a series against the Colorado Rockies 2-1 in convincing fashion. The Rays lost the series opener by a single run, and won the next with 10-1 and 113 blowouts. Last night at Coors Field, Rockies pitcher Jorge de la Rosa had a rocky start. Tampa Bay’s Corey Dickerson had three hits, Evan Longoria – who is not Eva’s twin brother – belted out two doubles, and Steven Souza, Jr. hit a couple of RBIs.

Nevertheless, and as we said above, the A’s are the baseball betting favorites to get the win tonight. Both the Rays and the Athletics are last in their respective divisions, but the latter have a better percentage (.442) compared to the former (.394), which could account for Oakland having the slight advantage over Tampa Bay. The A’s will start right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray (4-8), who had seven straight losses, dating back to April 22nd, before finally scoring a win over Toronto on Saturday. Gray is 1-3 with a 4.07 ERA in eight starts since returning from the disabled list on June 5th. The 26 year old is kind of a mixed bag; he has pitched well versus the Rays – going 2-1 with a 3.11 ERA in six starts –, but has struggled when facing AL East teams, with a 7.01 ERA in five starts and giving up three runs or more each time out. Gray has been mentioned on several occasions as a potential candidate for trading, so hopefully that will motivate him tonight.

As for Tampa Bay, the baseball betting underdogs du jour will start Matt Moore (5-7). The leftie pitched into the 8th inning for the first time this season versus Baltimore on Saturday, but ended up picking up the loss. On the upside, he has lowered his ERA by 0.71 by limiting opponents to two earned runs or less in his previous four starts. Moore has never pitched against Oakland at the Coliseum; he is 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA and 15 surrendered runs in 16 innings in three career starts versus the A’s. The 27 year old was an All Star in 2013 but has not been the same since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014, and like Gray, rumor has it he might be traded.