It is a possible playoff preview as the Tampa Bay Rays wrap up their series against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field. It is time to check out our MLB odds series and deliver a Rays-Guardians prediction and pick.
The Guardians defeated the Rays 2-1 in 10 innings. The Rays struck first in the second inning when Christian Bethancourt clubbed a single to center field, giving Tampa the early lead. Then, Gabriel Arias tied the game by clobbering a shot to deep left field for a solo home run. It was his first career home run. Later, it was a tie game with Amed Rosario at the plate in the 10th inning. Rosario ripped the first pitch for a single to right field through the gap to walk off with the victory. Subsequently, it was the seventh walk-off win for the Guardians.
Jeffrey Springs takes the mound for the Rays today. He is 9-4 with a 2.56 ERA. Additionally, Springs has been on fire this month, generating a 3-0 record with a 1.78 ERA through five starts. He tossed five innings in his previous outing, allowing three earned runs on six hits. One of those was a home run. Also, he has faced Cleveland once this year, going five innings while allowing three earned runs on six hits, including a home run.
Cal Quantrill takes the hill for the Guardians. He is 14-5 with a 3.49 ERA. Ultimately, Quantrill is 3-0 with a 3.42 ERA through five starts this month. He threw six innings in his last start, allowing one earned run on five hits, including a home run. Quantrill has not faced the Rays this season. However, he is 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA over two career starts against the Guardians.
The Rays are 4-6 over 10 games and have stagnated since their series with the New York Yankees earlier in the month, going 11-12. Meanwhile, the Guardians are 8-2 over 10 games and have clinched the American League Central, guaranteeing a spot in the playoffs.
Here are the Rays-Guardians MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Rays-Guardians Odds
Tampa Bay Rays: -1.5 (+158)
Cleveland Guardians: +1.5 (-192)
Over: 6.5 (-120)
Under: 6.5 (+100)
Why The Rays Could Cover The Spread
The Rays do not have many offensive weapons. However, they have a few productive players who could get hot anytime. Randy Arozarena and Wander Franco were quiet last night. Today, they expect to bounce back.
Arozarena is batting .269 with 2o home runs, 88 RBIs, and 69 runs. Amazingly, he is hitting .269 with two home runs, 18 RBIs, and 11 runs this month. Franco is batting .271 with five home runs, 31 RBIs, and 44 runs for the season. Also, he is batting .306 with eight RBIs and 10 runs through 20 games this month.
The Rays need both players to contribute. Likewise, they must generate offense through any means necessary. The Rays left seven runners on the basepaths. Thus, they could not take advantage of their multiple scoring opportunities. Their pitching has remained solid. Moreover, their starters are better at getting the ball to the bullpen.
The Rays will cover the spread if Springs can pitch a good game. Additionally, they need to capitalize on opportunities with runners on the basepaths to have a chance.
Why The Guardians Could Cover The Spread
The Guardians are heating up at the right time. Subsequently, they have added some offense to their repertoire, averaging 4.56 runs per game this month.
Jose Ramirez is batting .276 with 28 home runs, 119 RBIs, and 86 runs this season. However, he is one of the few in a slump, with a mark of .235 with two home runs, 13 RBIs, and 14 rounds this month. Rookie Steven Kwon has been a marvel for the Guardians, batting .302 with six home runs, 50 RBIs, and 86 runs in 2022. Additionally, he has produced well this month, hitting .330 with three home runs, 13 RBIs, and 19 runs.
The Guardians have remained consistent on the mound. Likewise, they continue to get hitters out. The Guardians are allowing an average of 3.63 runs per game this month. Thus, it has given their team a chance to win most games.
The Guardians will cover the spread if Quantrill delivers on the mound. Additionally, the Guardians must produce at the plate. Last night was an indicator of some struggles. However, they persevered and are looking for the same result.
Final Rays-Guardians Prediction & Pick
It will be a battle of two top pitchers. Ultimately, it reads like a pitching duel. But the line is too low. Both pitchers could easily allow two or three runs, resulting in a 4-3 game after the bullpen gets through. Consequently, it may be a game where both teams combine for one more run than the prediction. The over is the choice here.
Final Rays-Guardians Prediction & Pick: Over: 6.5 (-120)