Seattle Mariners vs Tampa Bay Rays Prediction, Preview & Odds - August 4, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 1:10 p.m. ET
Venue: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Where to watch: ROOTNW, Bally Sports Sun

Season-to-date
Mariners: 57-50 (3rd place, AL West)
Rays: 64-43 (1st place, AL East)

Recent lineups


Mariners:
J.P. Crawford (L) SS
Mitch Haniger (R) RF
Kyle Seager (L) 3B
Ty France (R) 1B
Abraham Toro (S) 2B
Jake Fraley (L) LF
Luis Torrens (R) DH
Jarred Kelenic (L) CF
Cal Raleigh (S) C
SP - Logan Gilbert (R)

Rays:
Brandon Lowe (L) 2B
Nelson Cruz (R) DH
Ji-Man Choi (L) 1B
Yandy Diaz (R) 3B
Joey Wendle (L) SS
Randy Arozarena (R) LF
Manuel Margot (R) RF
Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF
Mike Zunino (R) C
SP - Josh Fleming (L)

Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Rays -150, Mariners +130

Recent form (entering Tuesday)
Mariners: Despite win Monday, losers of four of six
Rays: Had four-game win streak end Monday, 8-2 loss to Seattle

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Mariners - Rays Preview


Monday wasn’t the way the Tampa Bay Rays wanted to celebrate getting back to first place in the American League East.

After a shocking three-game series sweep of the Boston Red Sox to re-claim the top spot in the division, the Rays crashed back down thanks to the Seattle Mariners, 8-2 on Monday.

Wednesday sets up a crucial finale of the three-game set for both teams at the Trop. Seattle put up five runs in the fourth and led by as much as 6-0 before Randy Arozarena hit a home run in the bottom of the fifth.

It was yet another rough outing for Rays starting pitcher Michael Wacha. It was his 14th start of the year, 19th appearance overall, and only his fifth decision. The Rays’ pitcher allowed six runs in four innings on eight hits; the former 17-game winner has a 5.26 ERA and a WHIP of 1.38 this season.

The Rays could also benefit from having their latest acquisition on offense to get rolling in the DH spot. Nelson Cruz, who was acquired from the Minnesota Twins on July 22, has a batting average of .206 in nine games. He went 2-for-4 on Monday, but only has 3 RBI since coming to Tampa. Still, at 41 years old to have that kind of pop, that’s a luxury to have in the two spot.

That win from the Mariners might have been their biggest given the situation. After losing two of three over the weekend to the last-place Texas Rangers, Seattle got a 3-for-5 effort from first baseman Ty France, including a homer in the seventh, to put the game out of reach. Starter Chris Flexen won his 10th game of the year after striking out six in 6.2 IP.

Seattle is still within striking distance in the AL West, though 7.5 games back of the Houston Astros for first place. The Mariners are three games back of the second wild card, held by the Oakland Athletics; the new-look New York Yankees are tied with Seattle.

Logan Gilbert and Josh Fleming are expected to take the mound for Seattle and Tampa, respectively.

Trends


This is a major contrast in matchups, one that would normally favor the Rays. But the Mariners are a sneaky pick at the books. Seattle is 33-23 this season (+25.5 units) against the line when playing a team with a winning record this season.

Tampa Bay has cleaned up as a favorite, going 40-23 when -110 or higher. When at home with a money line of -100 to -150, the Rays are 14-4 (+9 units).

Prediction


The Mariners are a weird team. You expect them to finally break through and be a playoff team, but they falter toward the end of the season. Then they look bleak against Texas only to come back and beat Tampa the way they did. I think given another game to get the cobwebs out, I trust the Rays more to rebound here with the bats coming to life. Rays win, over cashes.

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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