This Friday, two American League teams battle as the Oakland Athletics (89-57) visit Tropicana Field to play the Tampa Bay Rays (80-65) at 7:10 p.m. ET in the first of a three-game series.
The A’s have all but wrapped up a wildcard spot in the AL playoffs, but they can play themselves into danger if they get swept in this series against the Rays. Both Tampa Bay and Oakland are 8-2 in their last 10 games so expect this series to be highly contested.
Edwin Jackson gets the start for the A’s; the pitcher is 5-3 on the season with a 3.26 ERA. Jackson is 3-0 in his last three starts with an average of 4.5 innings pitched and 3.6 strikeouts. Jackson is 0-3 in his last three starts against the Rays with his last start in 2016 ending 15-1 blowout loss.
The A’s are 1-3 SU against the Rays this year, but boast a decent overall road record of 43-28 SU and 39-32 against the spread.
Despite being eliminated, Tampa Bay has continued to fight in the second half of the season. The Rays actually bear the third best record in all of baseball since June 15, going 48-28 in that span. What makes this series so interesting is the Rays have kept their foot on the pedal to close out the season meaning Oakland can ill afford to relax.
Diego Castillo will take the mound for the Rays, sporting a 3-2 record on the season with an ERA of 3.45. Castillo has been used as a situational pitcher this season averaging only 1 inning in his past three starts. Castillo has never faced the A’s in his career.
Odds for the game have yet to be revealed, but the A’s are 20-7 in their last 27 games as a road favorite of -110 to -150. The Rays are 19-7 in their last 26 games as home favorite.