Thursday afternoon baseball and we will see the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Oakland A's in game 3 of their 3 game series from Oakland. The game is scheduled for a 3:35 (ET) pm start time and it will be televised live locally. Currently the odds have Oakland favored at -121, while Tampa Bay is dogs of +114. The total for the game sits at 7.5 runs.
Free Analysis: Stuck in a rut the last two weeks, the Tampa Bay Rays may have received just the boost they've been looking for. The Rays try to build on an encouraging victory and move five games over .500 for the first time in a month in tonight's finale with the Oakland Athletics. It seemed like Tampa Bay (54-50) would be in for a long night Tuesday facing Tommy Milone. The Rays had combined for 11 runs in their previous five games and Milone came in with a major league-best 0.91 home ERA. t was Tampa Bay's James Shields, who had been the subject of trade rumors, that silenced the opposition, however. He tossed a three-hitter, and the Rays reached Milone for five runs in six innings in an 8-0 win. B.J. Upton drove in a pair of runs and Desmond Jennings scored twice for Tampa Bay, which pulled within 2 1/2 of Oakland (56-47) for the AL's second wild-card spot and moved four games over .500 for the fourth time since July 20. The Rays haven't been five over the break-even mark since July 3. Tampa Bay scored more than six runs for only the second time in 18 games since the All-Star break, and seeing how the offense fared against Milone, it could be poised for another solid showing versus Jarrod Parker (7-4, 3.38 ERA). Parker gave up a season high-tying six runs and eight hits while striking out eight in five innings in Friday's 14-9 win over Baltimore, but didn't get the decision. The rookie right-hander, who has never faced the Rays, has a 6.46 ERA in his last four starts after sporting a 1.01 ERA in his previous four. Despite some of his recent struggles, the A's have still won five of his last six outings. Oakland set a franchise record for winning percentage in July at 19-5, but ended the month dropping two of three. It combined for five runs in those games after averaging 9.4 runs in winning four of five. he Rays haven't enjoyed as much success with scheduled starter Alex Cobb (4-8, 4.93 ERA), losing eight of his last 10, he he has gone 1-5 with a 6.25 ERA in his last 6 starts. Against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, the right-hander gave up three runs and eight hits while walking none in seven innings of a 3-1 loss. He was making his first start since leaving his outing against Seattle on July 21 after two innings because of a bruised right leg. Cobb wasn't as effective in his lone outing against Oakland last August, yielding five runs, eight hits and four walks in 4 1-3 innings of an 8-0 loss. Tampa Bay is just 17-42 in their last 59 meetings in Oakland.
Free Pick: I will side with the home team in this one. Neither starter has been impressive of late as Cobb has a 6.25 ERA in his last 6 starts, while Parker has a 6.46 ERA in his last 4 starts, but the difference is that the A's are 3-1 in Parker's last 4 starts, while the Rays are 1-5 in Cobb's last 6 starts. Alex is 2-3 with a 5.18 ERA on the road and will be facing an agry Oakland team that cannot be happy about getting shut out last night. Despite the shutout last night the A;s have still averaged 5.9 rpg in their last 10 games and should have good success vs Cobb today. Despite Parker's recent struggles he is still having a good year. He has allowed 1 ER or less in 8 of his last 12 games and he has allowed 2 ER's or less in 8 of his 9 home starts this year. A closer look shows how impressive he has been at home as he has allowed just 1 ER each to the Yanks, Boston, Angels and White Sox, while allowing 0 ER's to Texas and just 2 ER's to Detroit. A very good collection of offenses there. Oakland lost last night, but they haven't lost two in a row since late June and they will keep that streak alive with a big win here.
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MLB Free Picks: Tampa Bay Rays at Oakland Athletics Betting
What baseball bettors need to know about Rays at Athletics on Wednesday (8/1/12) - with Pregame.com's Bryan Leonard and host Marco D'Angelo.