Paul Goldscmhidt drove in his 1,100 career run yesterday in the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. That sets up a rubber match today between the 50-65 Cardinals and 69-47 Rays. The Rays are two games behind the Orioles in the AL East and need to take care of business against the last place Cardinals, but Goldscmidt is making that difficult.
For the series finale in Tampa Bay tonight the Cardinals will go with Matthew Liberatore against Zack Littell. Liberatore and Littell have both spent time in the bullpen this year, but have stretched out to be a traditional starter instead of a reliever or opener. Liberatore is 1-4 with a 6.93 ERA and Littell is 2-2 with a 4.04 ERA.
Let’s get into the odds for the finale.
Cardinals vs. Rays odds, run line and total
Cardinals vs. Rays prediction and pick
Liberatore has just one relief appearance and nine starts, but he’s had a few very short starts. Some of those a result of poor performance, others because he wasn’t being used as a traditional starter. He’s back in the rotation now and struggled last time out allowing five earned over 5.2 innings on August 3. However, he has a good matchup in this one.
The Rays have really struggled to hit left-handed pitching after a spring in which they tortured lefties. Since July 1, Tampa Bay is 26th in wRC+ at 73 with an OPS of .602 against left-handers. Their OPS ranks even worse at 28th.
Over that stretch, Wander Franco has been fantastic with a 1.069 OPS against lefties and Yandy Diaz has a 1.015 OPS, but the rest of the team has been terrible. A big part of their struggles is the fact that they just haven’t seen a lot of lefties, since July 1 Jose Siri leads the team in plate appearances against left-handers with 19.
I’ll still fade Tampa’s offense against lefties in this one and while Zack Littell has been fantastic in his last two starts I’m not sure how he’ll hold up going every fifth day as a starter after pitching in relief all season.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change