The Tampa Bay Rays have the best record in baseball and are looking to keep it going on Thursday against a New York Mets team that is 5-10 in their last 15 games.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Mets (-115, 8.5)
The Rays give rookie Taj Bradley his fourth start of the season after he has led the team to victory in his first three starts of the season with three runs or fewer allowed in each.
Bradley has a 3.52 ERA with numbers that indicate he might be due for even better results moving forward with a 2.59 FIP, issuing just two walks in 15 1/3 innings and 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
The support around Bradley is also much stronger than what Mets starter Tylor Megill has received this season as the Rays lead the league in home runs and batting average while averaging nearly 6.5 runs per game on the road — about 0.4 more runs per game than any other team in the league.
There’s also an edge with the Rays bullpen as the team ranks 14th in bullpen ERA with the Mets ranking 19th, even with the Rays utilizing their bullpen for more innings than any other team in baseball.
For Megill, he’s allowed at least three runs in four of his last five starts and playing five innings or fewer in all but one — all while posting a 1-4 record during that stretch.
In his last five starts, he has a 5.18 ERA with an even worse FIP, issuing 5.6 walks per nine innings and allowing opponents to hit .284 off him.
With just two Mets players totaling more than for home runs this season and the Rays totaling 11 players with at least five home runs, depth is on the Rays’ side in this one.
What has been a dream start to the 2023 season will continue in Queens on Thursday and the Mets’ struggles will continue.
The Play: Rays -105