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Series Preview: Tampa Bay Rays Vs. Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays face off for the second time in two weeks. After losing the last series 3-1, the Rays have to be hoping to do better this time around.

The Oakland Athletics (49-62) come into St. Petersburg today, opening up a three game series against the Tampa Bay Rays (58-52). These two teams faced in a four-game series last week on the West Coast, and I'm sure the Rays would love to imagine that series was all a dream. The Athletics rolled over the Rays, winning three of the four games by a combined score of 34-20.

When that series ended, the Rays were in a tailspin. They hadn't won a series since July 3rd, and they had just been outscored over four games by the team that had scored the 2nd fewest total runs in the American League (425, currently). While the Athletics' rotation is above average and young, their offense is anemic. To put it in perspective, their best hitter is Josh Willingham, and his season line is .248/.331/.458 (.789 OPS).

Since that series, the Rays have started getting hot again; they have won two series in a row, beating both the Mariners and Blue Jays. And most importantly, their offense has seemingly woken up with some help from rookies Desmond Jennings and Robinson Chirinos, scoring 35 runs over those six games. The Rays have some favorable pitching matchups in this series, so it's a good opportunity for them to keep rolling. 

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Friday, 7:10pm: Guillermo Moscoso vs. Jeff Niemann
Saturday, 7:10pm: Brandon McCarthy vs. Alex Cobb
Sunday, 1:40pm: Trevor Cahill vs. David Price

Available On: Sun Sports, WDAE 620

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.