The Tampa Bay Rays take on the New York Mets in the first game of a three-game series on Tuesday, May 16. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field. Jalen Beeks (1-2, 5.40 ERA) will take the mound for the Rays as the opener to be followed by long man Yonny Chirinos, while Justin Verlander (1-1, 2.25 ERA) will pitch for the Mets.
New York is a -155 moneyline favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, while Tampa Bay comes in at +135. The run total is set at 8.5.
Out: SP Tyler Glasnow (oblique), RP Garrett Cleavinger (knee)
Out: SP Carlos Carrasco (elbow), C Tomas Nido (vision), OF Tim Locastro (back), RP Edwin Uceta (ankle), RP Jimmy Yacabonis (quad)
Jalen Beeks vs. Justin Verlander
This will be Beeks’ fourth start of the year, and we won’t expect him to stay on much longer than a couple of frames. In his most recent outing, he kept the Orioles scoreless over two innings, striking out two batters and allowing one hit. He’ll likely be followed by Chirinos, who’s allowed five runs over 10.1 innings in his last two appearances as Tampa’s bulk man.
After a bit of a bumpy debut against the Detroit Tigers at the beginning of the month, Verlander looked like his vintage self last time out against the Cincinnati Reds, allowing just two hits over seven innings of one-run ball. The future Hall of Famer is still knocking rust off after his shoulder strain, but he’s rounding into form and should be amped for his Citi Field debut.
Though the Rays excel offensively on the road, Verlander should be able to stifle some of that energy. The Mets don’t crack the top 20 in MLB in runs per game, and with a rested Tampa bullpen, I think the pitchers win this battle.
Pick: Under 8.5
The Rays pulled out an 8-7 thriller over the New York Yankees in their latest game as they now head across town. Tampa Bay leads the league in runs per game on the road with 6.40 per game, and are 12-8 in visiting stadiums. Verlander will be a tough challenge on the mound for this Tampa team, but the Mets’ offensive inconsistency make this a Tampa win for me.