While we do get a surprise division winner every now and again, the reality is that the surprise teams tend to make their way to the playoffs via the Wild Card. As we have seen countless times in the past, the teams predicted to be the best in the MLB all too often find their way to the top of the division standings over the course of the 162-game season. We do see some dark horse teams spend time at the top, but they generally seem to get run down and fall into the Wild Card picture. The WC rave in the American League looks to be pretty clear cut, with 4 teams in with a real shot at the two available spots. Things are not quite so clear over in the National League, where any 2 of 7 teams could stake their claim at the moment. The San Diego Padres are not in that picture in the NL race, and they have a tough start to the week, with the Tampa Bay Rays, a team that looks playoff bound, heading into town.
When: Monday, August 12 at 10:10 PM EST
Where: Petco Park, San Diego
Starting Pitchers: Castillo Vs Lucchesi
MLB Odds: Get the latest odds at YouWager.lv
Why bet on the Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays have been a very pleasant surprise this season, and while they were unable to maintain their early lead at the top of the East, they have emerged as one of the top teams in the AL. They are an impressive 69-50 on the season, yet they still find themselves on the outside looking in at the playoffs, sitting 2 ½ games back of the Twins and the Indians. This is a team that looks ready to make a run in the final weeks, though, sweeping the Seattle Mariners over the weekend to move to 8-2 in their last 10 games. The sweep of the Mariners was a great start to this road trip for the Rays, with those wins taking them to 38-22 SU and 34-26 ATS on the road this season. They will have Diego Castillo (2-6, 3.50 ERA) on the mound to start.
Why bet on the San Diego Padres
The question that you have to ask yourself ahead of this series is just how much of a fight the Padres are going to put up. Are they interested in playing the tole of the spoiler or is this a team with one eye on the end of the regular season? There is not much to suggest that they are ready to put up a fight after going just 5-5 in their last 10 games. You can’t even really consider home field to be much of an edge here, with the Padres sitting 3 games below .500 at 28-31 in their own ballpark this season. They have also not been a great spread bet at home this year, going 25-34 ATS. Where they have been good is in interleague play, where they are 9-5 SU. They will have Joey Lucchesi (7-6, 4.19 ERA) on the mound for this one.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
While the Padres have had some success versus teams from the American League, we are at the stage of the season when the good teams are upping their game. I like the Rays to go in there on Monday night and get the job done.
Tampa Bay Rays 6 San Diego Padres 2