The Oakland Athletics are struggling as a young team. They are on a two-game losing streak after a 9-5 road loss to begin this series. The Athletics are 2-5 overall, sitting last in the AL West. They will send rookie right-hander Shintaro Fujinami to the mound. Fujinami lost last time in his MLB debut against the Los Angeles Angels and gave up eight runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts in just 2.1 innings on the mound.
The Tampa Bay Rays have been the best team in the entire majors. They have a perfect 7-0 record to begin the season. Southpaw Jeffrey Springs will get the start for the Rays. Springs picked up a win against the Detroit Tigers, allowing a walk and 12 strikeouts in six no-hit innings.
Oakland Athletics vs. Tampa Bay Rays: Betting Odds
|Oakland Athletics||+1.5 (+115)||Over 8 (-105)||+230|
|Tampa Bay Rays||-1.5 (-135)||Under 8 (-115)||-275|
Odds Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
The Oakland Athletics have been struggling throughout the season so far at the plate. They are currently 25th in MLB with a .669 team OPS while averaging 3.86 runs per game. Catcher Shea Langeliers has done pretty well throughout the year. He is 6-for-22 with one home run, one RBI, and three runs scored. If they can have a few players in the lineup, it will be a good spot for them to try and pull off an upset.
Shintaro Fujinami had an absolute stinker in his MLB debut, but there is no need to doubt him as he has a lot of experience under his belt. He pitched in the NPB in Japan and has a career 57-54 record with a 3.41 ERA and over 1,000 strikeouts in his career overseas. He struggled against a good Los Angeles Angels lineup. Moreover, the Tampa Bay Rays are the best statistical offense right now. So this should be interesting, as there is not much tape on Fujinami for hitters to get a feel of how he does.
Tampa Bay Rays
People questioned if the Tampa Bay Rays’ lineup could score enough, and they took that to heart to begin the season. They are season leaders with a .926 team OPS while scoring 7.57 runs per game thus far. A big reason for their success has been their ability to hit 18 home runs as a team, which also tops the leaderboard. Shortstop Wander Franco has been doing extremely well at the plate. He is 11-for-29 with three homers, eight RBI, five runs scored, and two stolen bases on three attempts. If their offense can continue to be effective, they should be fine.
Jeffery Springs showed that he could be a dominant starting pitcher after an amazing first start of the season. He had a bullpen role in 2022 during his three games against the Oakland Athletics. In 5.1 innings, he allowed zero runs on two hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Springs has shown the ability to dominate and overpower the opposing hitters in the batter’s box and should do well against a weak Athletics lineup.
Fixture: Oakland Athletics @ Tampa Bay Rays
Date & Time: Saturday, April 8, 4:10 p.m. EDT
Venue: Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL
Oakland Athletics vs. Tampa Bay Rays: Betting Prediction
The Tampa Bay Rays are exactly what the Oakland Athletics could be in the next handful of years. The Rays have a dominant pitcher in Jeffrey Springs. Meanwhile, Shintaro Fujinami has not proven to be a good pitcher at this level as the game is a lot different than it is in Japan. Oakland has not been able to hit well while Tampa Bay is dominating in all facets in terms of the offensive side of the game. The Rays have been extremely well in terms of pitching as well and should continue to do well. The Rays have won each of the previous four games against the Athletics. So go with the Tampa Bay Rays to cover the run line and dominate.