The Los Angeles Dodgers will look to complete a two-game sweep of the host Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday when the two teams face off at Tropicana Field. The Dodgers won the opener 7-3 on Tuesday night behind Clayton Kershaw’s strong outing, holding the Rays scoreless into the seventh inning.

The Dodgers have won two straight and opened up a seven-game advantage in the National League West over both San Diego and Arizona, who are tied in second place. Tampa Bay has been going the other way, losing two straight and falling into second place in the American League East behind the first-place New York Yankees.

The moneyline for this contest has the Los Angeles Dodgers -138 and the Tampa Bay Rays +128. The over/under is set at 8.5 runs.

Hot Pitching

Kershaw’s gem helped lower the Dodgers’ staff ERA to 3.36, which ranks second in the National League. Left-hander Rich Hill will look to keep the momentum going when he steps to the mound Wednesday night. Hill was out at the beginning of this season due to a knee injury, so he’ll be making just his fifth start of the season. He is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA and is coming off a strong outing against Cincinnati in which he went six scoreless innings, giving up just two hits while striking out 10.

The Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger has been red hot this season and leads Los Angeles in most batting statistics. He comes into Wednesday’s game with a .404 batting average, with 17 home runs, 44 RBI and 43 runs scored. Not that he’s the only weapon in the Dodgers’ lineup. Leftfielder Joc Pederson has belted 14 home runs and driven in 25 runs, as Los Angeles has seven players who have recorded 20 or more RBI in the team’s first 49 games.

Short starts

The Rays will send right-hander Ryne Stanek to the mound for Wednesday’s game. He has just an 0-1 record and will be making his 13th start of the season. That’s the most in the Major Leagues, though none of them have lasted more than two innings. His last outing was his worst of the season. He lasted only 1/3 of an inning against the Yankees last Friday, giving up one hit, two walks and three earned runs.

The Rays’ offense has been struggling of late, as they’ve scored more than three runs just three times in their last 10 outings, going 4-6 over that span. Second baseman Brandon Lowe leads the team with 10 home runs and 27 RBI. But he has just eight hits in his last 10 games. Centerfielder Austin Meadows is hitting .340 with nine home runs and 24 RBI. Tommy Pham is hitting .278 with a team-high 47 hits and 19 RBI. There is potential for an offensive explosion in the Tampa Bay lineup, but they just haven’t been putting the hits together recently.

Dodgers Complete Sweep

The Rays haven’t been a great home team this season, sitting just a game above .500 at 12-11 heading into Wednesday’s contest. Unfortunately for them, I see that trend continuing. The Dodgers’ lineup is too stacked to be shut down by another bullpen game, so expect more runs on the board tonight for Los Angeles. Take the Los Angeles Dodgers -138.

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