The Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Guardians will continue their three-game series with a Wednesday night matchup at Progressive Field. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our MLB odds series, which includes a Rays-Guardians prediction and pick, laid out below.
Tampa Bay won a thrilling 6-5 game in extra innings last night, bringing their record to 85-69. With the Yankees’ victory, the AL East is wrapped up, leaving just the Wild Card spots to be decided in the American League. Tampa Bay is currently holding second place in the Wild Card.
Cleveland wrapped up the AL Central this weekend in Texas, and currently sits at an 86-68 record. The team was given almost no chance to make the playoffs in the preseason, but the improbable has happened. Aided by the collapses of teams trailing, Cleveland’s strong pitching has them prepared for a possible playoff run.
Here are the Rays-Guardians MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Rays-Guardians Odds
Tampa Bay Rays: +1.5 (-210)
Cleveland Guardians: -1.5 (+172)
Over: 6.5 (-104)
Under: 6.5 (-118)
Why The Rays Could Cover The Spread
He’s back!! Tyler Glasnow will make his first MLB appearance of 2022 tonight, missing the end of 2021 and all of 2022 so far as he recovered from Tommy John Surgery. Glasnow is one of the nastiest pitchers in baseball, and his return could not come at a better time for Tampa Bay. Before the injury last season, Glasnow was pitching to a 2.66 ERA with 123 strikeouts in 88 innings, well on his way to a career year.
Tampa Bay’s bullpen has been great, ranking sixth in the league with a 3.32 ERA. Brooks Raley, who has never had an ERA below 4.75 in a season, has appeared in 58 games, posting a 2.72 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 53 innings. Pete Fairbanks has returned brilliantly from his injury, posting a 1.17 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 23 innings. Fairbanks also is tied for the team lead with eight saves. Jason Adam, who had spent parts of four seasons in the big leagues, also has eight saves, appearing in 66 games, with a 1.59 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 62.1 innings. All three relievers are once again winning for the player development juggernaut that keeps the low-budget Rays competitive.
Randy Arozarena leads the team with 20 home runs, 41 doubles, and 88 RBI, slashing .270/.332/.457 on the season. Isaac Paredes is tied for the team lead with 20 home runs, playing in 104 games since being acquired for Austin Meadows. Ji-Man Choi has blasted ten home runs, but the power plays exclusively against right-handers. Yandy Diaz is second on the team with 32 doubles, hitting nine home runs, and leads the team with a .292 batting average. Diaz has walked more than he has struck out this season. Tampa Bay ranks fourth in the league with 285 doubles.
Why The Guardians Could Cover The Spread
Triston McKenzie will be tonight’s starter for Cleveland. The lanky right-hander has been great this season, with a 3.04 ERA and 180 strikeouts in 180.1 innings. In his last 15 starts, McKenzie has pitched to a 2.25 ERA with 107 strikeouts in 100 innings. McKenzie struck out 13 across eight innings of two-run baseball last time out. Batters have hit just .116 against McKenzie’s curveball, which he throws about 22 percent of the time.
Cleveland’s bullpen has been a huge part of their success this season, ranking fifth with a 3.08 ERA. Trevor Stephan has pitched to a 2.79 ERA with 73 strikeouts in 61.1 innings, thanks in part to increased splitter usage. James Karinchak has posted a 1.49 ERA with 56 strikeouts in 36.1 innings since returning from injury. In 44 appearances, Nick Sandlin has posted a 2.14 ERA, holding opponents to a .172 batting average. Closer Emmanuel Clase has turned in an unbelievable season, posting a 1.44 ERA with 39 saves and 69 strikeouts in 68.2 innings. If not for Edwin Diaz, Clase would be in the conversation for the most dominant closer in the game.
Jose Ramirez is once again the story of this lineup, leading the team with 28 home runs, 42 doubles, and 119 RBI, ranking fourth with 18 stolen bases. Josh Naylor is second on the team with 19 home runs and 26 doubles. Andres Gimenez leads the team with a .305 batting average, with 19 stolen bases, hitting 26 doubles and 17 home runs. Steven Kwan is second on the team with a .301 batting average, stealing 19 bases, 35 extra-base hits, and more walks than strikeouts. Oscar Gonzalez has hit 25 doubles in just 83 games, belting 11 home runs. Amed Rosario has hit .281 with 11 home runs, 17 stolen bases, and 26 doubles. Rosario leads all of baseball with nine triples. Myles Straw leads the team with 20 stolen bases. Cleveland ranks third with 114 stolen bases and has the least strikeouts in the league.
Final Rays-Guardians Prediction & Pick
Glasnow probably won’t last long enough to impact this one.
Final Rays-Guardians Prediction & Pick: Cleveland -1.5 (+172), under 6.5 (-118)