Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays (6:40 ET)
Favorite: Rays -153
Pitchers: Rich Hill (4.52 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) vs. Drew Rasmussen (2.70 ERA, 1.05 WHIP)
The Boston Red Sox might be the hottest offensive team over the last two weeks with a .831 OPS, but Drew Rasmussen and the Rays are the Red Sox kryptonite. With a 2.91 ERA all-time against the Red Sox and getting better with each start, Rasmussen looks to continue the Rays' charge towards the top of the division. Only 5 games back of the Yankees now with a month to play, the Rays will need every game to usurp the Yankees. In his last 34.1 innings he's allowed just 19 hits and 6 runs - or a 1.57 ERA with a 0.67 WHIP. He's been one of the breakout pitchers in the league and should continue even against the Sox.
Rich Hill has been unhittable in his 2 outings this year vs the Rays. Pitching 11 innings and allowing no runs on 7 hits, he and his looping, slow curveball have befuddled Rays batters, but that offense has never been as hot as they are now. 8th in OPS over the last two weeks and finally getting most of their bats healthy, the Rays are peaking at just the right time. Expect them to do more against HIll than they have in the past then attack the Sox bullpen hard.
Pick: Rays ML -153 (1u)
Arielle Bader - The Times
Miami Marlins @ Philadelphia Phillies (6:45 ET)
Favorite: Phillies -215
Pitchers: Jesus Luzardo ( 3.44 ERA, 1.04 WHIP) vs. Aaron Nola (3.43 ERA, 0.97 WHIP)
I'm a big Jesus Luzardo fan, but I am an even bigger proponent of fading the Marlins and their offense. Historically bad over the past two weeks with a .523 OPS, worst by 38 points, the Marlins offer no run support even for their best pitchers like Sandy and Pablo Lopez, and in facing Aaron Nola after his worst start of his career I doubt they'll do much. Nola will be desperate to bounce back and with the majority of his advanced metrics landing him in the top ten percent of all pitchers I expect him to do just that. His offense hasn't been poor, landing 10th in OPS within the same timeframe as the Marlins and they'll need to lean on them after losing 6 of 7 including a sweep to the lowly Giants. Expect the day off to treat the Phillies well and 4 or more runs to do it for them on Tuesday.
Picks: Phillies -1.5 +106 (1u) & Phillies TT o4 -102 (1u)
Dustin Bradford - Icon Sportswire
Atlanta Braves @ Oakland A's (9:40 ET)
Favorite: Braves -215
Pitchers: Kyle Wright (2.85 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) vs. Cole Irvin (3.35 ERA, 1.06 WHIP)
I place Cole Irvin in the same boat as Logan Gilbert - a pitcher who has had a fantastic season but the advanced metrics would indicate they're nothing more than a scrub. With nearly every advanced metric placing him in the bottom quarter of pitchers, It's a wonder how Irvin has generated so much success. With a 4-seam/sinker/curveball/changeup combination, he's been able to keep batters guessing enough to take advantage. His go-to is his 4-seamer with a .185 BA and 22.8% putaway rate. With all that said though, he's struggled lately allowing 5 runs in 3 of his last four starts and next up is the 2nd best offense against lefties that baseball has to offer (.803 OPS). Looking dangerous as ever with an OPS ranked 4th over the last two weeks, expect the Braves to get to him and Wright to do what he does against one of the worst offenses in the majors.
Pick: Braves -1.5 -125 (1u)