The Philadelphia Phillies might not want to go back to Philadelphia anytime soon. The Phils picked up their 11th straight road win yesterday and now have a chance to sweep the Tampa Bay Rays in three games. The Phillies are 46-39 and in third place in the NL East while the Rays are leading the AL East at 57-32. The Rays have lost four in a row.
Cristopher Sanchez is on the mound for Philadelphia on Thursday. It will be his fourth start of the season. Currently, he is 0-2 with a 3.26 ERA. Sanchez will face Shawn Armstrong and the rest of the Tampa Bay bullpen as Armstrong is the opener.
Let’s get into the odds for Game 3 in Tampa Bay.
Phillies vs. Rays odds, run line and total
Phillies vs. Rays prediction and pick
The Phillies have been searching for an answer in their starting rotation for most of the season and they might have finally found it in Sanchez. He is 0-2, but has given them a chance to win all of his four starts and with a 3.19 FIP it might be for real. Sanchez has 20 strikeouts to just four walks in 19.1 innings and as a lefty that is a really good combination. He’s given up a homer in each of his last two starts, so that could be a concern going forward, but I believe he will become a mainstay in that spot.
This should be another good start for Sanchez even though the Rays are third in team OPS against left-handed pitchers for the year. Tampa Bay destroyed lefties in April, but if you take out that month they are 14th in team OPS against left-handers and 10th in wRC+. Since June 1, it's been even worse. They are last 29th in team OPS against lefties at .619 and 27th in wRC+.
The Rays are no longer a team that should scare left-handed starting pitchers like Sanchez and with the Phillies success on the road lately, I like them as an underdog in this one. Tampa will go with another bullpen game and their bullpen just isn’t quite as dominant as it was in years past. The offense isn’t carrying the Rays anymore so that’s why they’re coming back to the pack and may not even hold onto the AL East.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change