Two of baseball’s best wrap up a there-game weekend set in an early start on Sunday morning, as the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Tampa Bay Rays. First pitch is set for 11:35 a.m. ET at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. It’ll be a battle of top prospects on the mound, as Gavin Stone (0-0, 10.13 ERA) will look to keep a spot in the Dodgers rotation after a bumpy start while Josh Fleming (1-0, 3.59) gets the ball for Tampa Bay.
The Rays enter as -130 favorites on the moneyline, while the Dodgers are +110 underdogs. The run total is set at 9.
Dodgers-Rays picks: Sunday, May 28
Out: RP Tyler Cyr (shoulder), SP Julio Urias (hamstring), SP Dustin May (elbow), SP Michael Grove (groin), SP Ryan Pepiot (oblique), SP Jimmy Nelson (elbow), 2B Gavin Lux (knee), RP Daniel Hudson (knee), RP Blake Treinen (shoulder), SP Walker Buehler (elbow), RP JP Feyereisen (shoulder), RP Alex Reyes (shoulder)
Out: RP Zack Littell (shoulder), 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)
Gavin Stone vs. Josh Fleming
Stone entered the year as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, but he’s struggled mightily in two starts since injuries forced him into the Dodgers rotation. The righty has allowed ten runs (nine earned) on 13 hits and a whopping seven walks in just eight innings, and while it’s obviously far too early to draw any conclusions about his potential, he’s given little reason to believe that he’s ready to go up against the Majors’ strongest offenses. Stone’s best pitch is his changeup, which tore up the Minors and which he’s thrown nearly 40% of the time as a big leaguer, but neither his fastball nor his slider offer anything that can keep hitters — especially lefties — from keying on it.
Fleming will get a rare start today after usually serving as the bulk man following an opener. The lefty is coming off of a strong outing against the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this week, firing six innings of two-run ball. A sinkerballer, he won’t rack up strikeouts, but his massive 64.2% ground ball rate allows him to get plenty of easy outs.
Stone has been highly flammable in his first two appearances, and that’s likely to continue in a tough spot against Tampa’s league-leading offense. Assuming the Rays do some early damage, Mookie Betts and Co. should do more than enough for this over to hit.
Pick: Over 9
It’s just impossible to back Stone until we’ve actually seen him have success at the Major League level, and given how little he has to offer outside of his changeup, I’m not sure that success will come any time soon — and certainly not against Tampa’s league-best offense on the road.