After New York took an 8-7 thriller in extra innings last night, the Mets (21-23) and the Tampa Bay Rays (32-12) will each be going for aseries victory on Thursday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field in Queens, New York. Top prospect Taj Bradley (3-0, 3.52 ERA) returns from Triple-A to start for Tampa, while New York rolls with struggling righty Tylor Megill (4-2, 4.02).
The Rays are -115 moneyline favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, making the Mets -105 underdogs with the over/under set at nine.
Rays-Mets picks: Thursday, May 18th
Day to day: 1B/3B Yandy Diaz (groin)
Out: SP Drew Rasmussen (forearm), RP Garrett Cleavinger (knee), RP Jeffrey Springs (elbow), SP Tyler Glasnow (oblique), RP Shawn Armstrong (neck), SP Shane Baz (elbow), RP Andrew Kittredge (elbow)
Out: RP Jimmy Yacabonis (quadriceps), C Tomas Nido (eye), RP Edwin Uceta (ankle), SP Carlos Carrasco (elbow), OF Tim Locastro (back), C Omar Narvaez (calf), SP Elieser Hernandez (shoulder), RP Edwin Diaz (knee), RP Sam Coonrod (lat), RP Bryce Montes de Oca (elbow), SP Jose Quintana (ribs), RP Stephen Ridings (shoulder)
Taj Bradley vs. Tylor Megill
Injuries have brought Bradley back to the Major League roster after making the first three starts of his MLB career in April. He more than looked like he belonged, allowing six runs with 23 strikeouts over just 15.1 innings.
Megill will make his ninth start of the season on Thursday afternoon, coming off a decent outing in his last time out. He allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and four walks with four strikeouts in a 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals. The walk numbers have been a bit high, but he’s allowed more than three runs just once in 2023.
Both pitchers have been throwing the ball fairly well, but this number is a bit low. Tampa Bay has scored at least five runs in six consecutive games, and Rays games hit double-digits in all of those contests.
Pick: Over 9
Both starters are fairly even without much of a sample size to look at for Bradley, but I’m more comfortable in siding with the better lineup in this spot. Tampa Bay ranks No. 1 in just about every major offensive category including runs per game (6.3). The Mets are scoring two runs fewer per game (4.3), so let’s side with the Rays.