Tampa Bay Rays vs. Philadelphia Phillies Prediction & Picks

Expert handicapper Jason Radowitz goes in depth for Wednesday's MLB matchup between the Rays and Phillies. Read his MLB predictions for tonight here.
Jason Radowitz
Wed, August 25, 7:40 AM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Philadelphia Phillies Prediction & Picks

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Philadelphia Phillies Probable Pitchers:

  • Rays: Ryan Yarbrough (7-4, 4.57 ERA)
  • Phillies: Zack Wheeler (10-8, 2.77 ERA)

Click here to see Rays vs. Phillies odds

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Philadelphia Phillies Prediction

Between both teams, this game and series is as important as any other. The Rays are being chased by the Yankees in the AL East while the Phillies still have life in the NL East.

However, the Rays starting pitching staff has taken a hit this season. They’ve had to use arms that have been inconsistent. With that, they’ve had to rely on their overused bullpen that has still been outstanding on the season.

Ryan Yarbrough is expected to take the mound for the Rays. He’s a guy that will give you a consistent five innings of work. However, he’s also consistently allowing runs. Yarbrough has an ERA of 4.57 on the season and has had games where he’s allowed five or more runs eight times this year.

He’s kept the walks down on the season but isn’t a premier strikeout thrower. He’s struck out just 18.6 percent of batters and has an xFIP of 5.88 in the last 30 days, even after throwing five shutout innings in his last outing.

It’s no secret, the left-hander struggles against righties. In the last 30 days, he’s allowed a wOBA of .366 and ISO of .388. That’s a lot of power coming from the right side.

The Phillies lineup will include eight righties except for Bryce Harper, the lone lefty in the lineup, who has crushed lefties for power lately.

The lineup has an ISO of .296 and wOBA of .383 while striking out just 15.3 percent of the time and walking 13 percent of the time. The Phillies have also welcomed Freddy Galvis back into the lineup and he could start in tonight’s game.

Yarbrough has also struggled inducing ground balls, getting just 25.5 percent of grounders in the last 30 days. The good news for the Phillies is that the projected lineup is only hitting 38.7 percent of grounders.

It’s hard to go against the Rays in any way shape or form but the Phillies have crushed lefties as of late. Yarbrough has tendencies to allow big offensive explosions from teams. Like I pointed out earlier, he’s allowed five or more runs in eight appearances this season.

The Phillies lineup projects to do just that. The Phillies can absolutely score five or more runs against Yarbrough as their offense really profiles well against lefties.

But if the Phillies score just three runs instead of five runs, I don’t want to be sweating a ticket when they have to take on the bullpen of the Rays. It’s one of, if not the best, bullpen in the league.

With that, I’ll take the Phillies Over 2.5 in the first five innings. It’s a nice little plus money spot for a team that crushes lefties and a pitcher that has had major struggles at times this season.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Philadelphia Phillies PredictionPhillies Over 2.5 F5 TT @ +110

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