Tampa Bay (Odorizzi) at Miami (Chen) -135 O/U 8
With the Rays likely missing their top offensive player Steven Souza Jr. for at least another game or two, my initial reaction is to look against them. Yesterday’s starting lineup minus Souza closed the game with seven starters hitting .244 or less. After Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez left after just one inning (torn finger nail), a combination of six relievers held Tampa Bay to just four hits and one run over the next eight innings. Currently active Rays players have a mediocre career .256 batting average and .313 OBP against Chen which pushes the arrow toward the lefty having a good start tonight.
Even more impressive are Tampa starter Jake Odorizzi’s lifetime numbers against Miami’s bats. The first four hitters in the Marlins lineup: Dee Gordon, Martin Prado, Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton own a cumulative .056 (1 for 18) BA against Odorizzi and .143 OBP. Odorizzi is making his first start since being activated from the 10-day DL (hamstring) which is always a concern.
The normally pitcher oriented Marlins Park has played to the over thus far with totals posting a 6-3 O/U mark and six of the games recording nine or more runs. Tonight’s contest has more than its share of conflicting handicapping angles but two main factors figure to dictate this result. Since Jake Odorizzi’s bullpen session was deemed a success last Wednesday which was five days ago, feel he’ll be good to go and resume his domination of the top four in Miami’s lineup. Chen versus a Souza-less lineup also looks advantageous so the choice here will be under the total of 8.