Rays vs. Giants prediction and odds for Wednesday, August 16 (Back the Bullpen)

The Giants took a 7-0 blowout win yesterday behind a Wilmer Flores homer.
San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Ryan Walker (74)
San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Ryan Walker (74) / Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

This three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and San Francisco Giants has had big swings back and forth. Today will be the rubber match after Tampa Bay took Game 1 10-2 and then San Francisco answered with  a 7-0 win yesterday. The Rays are 72-50 and the Giants are 64-56 and both are second in their respective divisions.

Now, for the rubber match in San Francisco, the Rays will go with newly acquired Aaron Civale who will make his third start with the team. Civale is 5-3 in 15 starts with a 2.61 ERA across his time with Cleveland and Tampa. He will be opposed by Ryan Walker who is 4-1 in 30 appearances with nine of those being starts. Walker has a 2.28 ERA. 

Let’s get into the odds for the series finale this afternoon at Oracle Park. 

Rays vs. Giants odds, run line and total

Rays vs. Giants prediction and pick

Well, the Rays have taken quite a few hits this week. They will be without Wander Franco for an extended period, and potentially for good, and will be without Shane McClanahan for a very long time as well because he had to get Tommy John surgery. They already knew they needed pitching before the McClanahan news, so they traded for Aaron Civale from Cleveland.

Civale isn’t the typical Tampa Bay pitcher because he doesn’t get many strikeouts. They may be trying to improve that, but for the year he has a 16th percentile strikeout rate with a 14th percentile whiff rate. He typically doesn’t get hit very hard which is the good news, but his xERA is 3.70 because of the lack of velocity and lack of strikeout ability. So far this year his BABIP is .267 which is pretty low and if it climbs to around league average could pose a problem for the 28-year-old right-hander. 

The Giants will be going with a bullpen game and using Walker as an opener. This isn’t a rare occurrence and their bullpen is eighth in ERA since July 1 at 3.74 while logging the most innings of any pen over that stretch. 

The Rays were struggling to score runs with Franco in the lineup. Over the past 30 days they are 20th in runs scored and in August Franco had an OPS of 1.223. Without him this lineup doesn’t have a lot of hitters that can scare opposing pitchers. I like the Giants to win big in this one. 

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change