7:10PM-MLB: Tampa Bay OR Atlanta

Two of the hottest teams in baseball will face off today at Turner Field as the Atlanta Braves (37-27) host the Tampa Bay Rays (40-23) in this interleague showdown.  The Rays are going to be behind their ace, David Price while the Braves will be throwing unlucky Kenshin Kawakami.  The Rays offense is carried by Carlos Pena, EvaN Longoria, and Sean Rodriguez while the Braves are led by resurgent Troy Glaus, rookie phenom Jason Heyward, and Brian McCann.  The Rays will be looking to go back into first place after giving up their lead to the Yankees while the Braves will be looking to extend their lead over the Mets.

StreakFacts

  • Tampa Bay is 22-8 on the road
  • Atlanta is 19-6 at home
  • Tampa Bay is 3-3 in interleague games
  • Atlanta is 2-1 in interleague games
  • Tampa Bay is 6-5 in June
  • Atlanta is 8-5 in June
  • Tampa Bay is -125 to win (they are 6-1 as away favorites)
  • Price is 9-2 with a 2.23 ERA in 12 starts (his team is 9-3 when he starts)
    • 5-1 with 2.54 ERA in 6 starts on the road
  • Kawakami is 0-8 with a 4.48 ERA in 12 starts (his team is 3-9 when he starts)
    • 0-1 with 3.68 ERA in 4 starts at home (his team is 3-1 when he starts)
  • Tampa Bay is 22-15 against Righties
  • Atlanta is 11-10 against Lefties

Stig picks Tampa Bay to win * * * (3 out of 5)

Most trends are pointing to Tampa Bay but one must ask, “is this when Kawakami finally gets his first win?” My prediction is that he will pitch well enough to win, but the Braves bats will be cooled by Price.  Kawakami will make a couple of mistakes yet will not be bailed out by the Braves hitters, who hit horribly every time he takes the mound.  Facing a left-handed ace, the only chance the Braves have is to have a good outing by Kawakami and hope to cash in on a pretty good Rays bullpen.  If Tampa Bay can put up 4 or more runs, I feel they win this game.

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