Rays vs. Nationals prediction and odds for Monday, April 3 (Can Rays win again?)

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Drew Rasmussen (57).
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Drew Rasmussen (57). / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays took care of business in their season-opening series, sweeping the Detroit Tigers to move to 3-0 on the season. 

Tampa Bay allowed just three runs across three games, and youngster Drew Rasmussen will look to keep the momentum going against another bad team, the Washington Nationals, on Monday. 

Washington took the final game of its series against the Atlanta Braves, scoring four runs off of rookie Jared Shuster in a 4-1 victory. 

The Nationals have Trevor Williams on the bump in this game, and he pitched well (3.21 ERA) last season in a hybrid role for the New York Mets. 

Here’s a look at the latest odds and my best bet for this contest: 

Rays vs. Nationals odds, run line and total

Rays vs. Nationals prediction and pick

It’s no secret that the Nationals are expected to be one of the worst teams in baseball this season, and their offense has been pretty terrible to start the year. 

After scoring just three runs through their first two games, the Nationals scored four runs in the first inning off the rookie Shuster, who admitted to nerves hindering him early.

After that, the Braves held the Nats scoreless for the rest of the game. 

Tampa Bay has one of the better pitching staffs in baseball, and Rasmussen was elite last season, posting a 2.84 ERA in 28 starts. 

I don’t want to discount how well Williams pitched in the 2022 season either (3.21 ERA), but he only started nine of the 30 games he appeared in. 

Washington’s bullpen may need to step up in this game, and I prefer the Rays’ pitching (and offense) to pick up the win on Monday. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.