The Detroit Tigers will travel to take on the Tampa Bay Rays in an Opening Day matchup at Tropicana Field on Thursday afternoon. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our MLB odds series, which includes a Tigers-Rays prediction and pick, laid out below.
Detroit is still stuck in their rebuild, finishing their season at 66-96, fourth place in the AL Central. A strong couple of offseasons could have Detroit in position to contend. Manager AJ Hinch has tons of playoff experience from his time at the helm of the Houston Astros.
Tampa Bay earned the final Wild Card berth in the American League with an 86-76 record. Tropicana Field has proven an advantage for the Rays, and 2022 was no different, with Tampa Bay going 51-30 at home. Manager Kevin Cash and a forward-thinking front office always has this group in contention.
Here are the Tigers-Rays MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Tigers-Rays Odds
Detroit Tigers: +1.5 (-122)
Tampa Bay Rays: -1.5 (+100)
Over: 7 (-105)
Under: 7 (-115)
How To Watch Tigers vs. Rays
TV: Bally Sports Detroit, Bally Sports Sun
Time: 3:10 PM ET/ 12:10 PM PT
*Watch MLB games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Tigers Could Cover The Spread
Two young prospects headline the Tigers lineup in Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene. Torkelson debuted with much fanfare and little results last season, hitting .203 with eight home runs in 110 games. Greene found some more success, hitting .253 with five home runs, four triples, and 18 doubles in 93 games. Javier Baez made a strong first impression in year one with the Tigers, hitting 17 home runs and 27 doubles, putting up a 2.6 bWAR. Kerry Carpenter hit five home runs in just 31 games last season, and should see a ton of playing time this season. Of course, Miguel Cabrera is still a part of the roster, and will look to capture some of the Albert Pujols farewell tour magic from last season.
Eduardo Rodriguez only pitched in 17 games last season with some off-field issues keeping him out. In those 17 games, Rodriguez pitched to a 4.05 ERA with 72 strikeouts in 91.0 innings. Alex Lange has emerged as a potential impact reliever, pitching to a 3.41 ERA with 82 strikeouts in 63.1 innings last season. Jose Cisnero, while battling back from an injury, was dominant in 25 innings, firing a 1.08 ERA.
Why The Rays Could Cover The Spread
Randy Arozarena leads a dominant offense, hitting .263 with 41 doubles and 20 home runs last season. Arozarena has now hit 20 home runs in each of the last two seasons. Wander Franco has battled injuries his first two seasons, hitting 38 doubles and 13 home runs in 153 career games, good for a 6.1 bWAR. Yandy Diaz turned in a career year last season, hitting 33 doubles and nine home runs, with a .296/.401/.423 slash line. Diaz walked more times than he struck out last season. Isaac Paredes, in his first season with Tampa Bay, hit 20 home runs and 16 doubles. Paredes was worth 2.5 bWAR.
Shane McClanahan will take the mound Opening Day, looking to build off a 2.54 ERA with 194 strikeouts in 166.1 innings last season. McClanahan finished sixth in the AL Cy Young voting and earned his first All-Star nod. Tampa Bay usually churns out dominant bullpen arms in anonymity, including Jason Adam, last year's breakout. Adam pitched to a 1.56 ERA with 75 strikeouts in 63.1 innings. Jalen Beeks turned in a 2.80 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 61.0 innings last season.
Final Tigers-Rays Prediction & Pick
This may be another long year for Detroit fans.
Final Tigers-Rays Prediction & Pick: Tampa Bay -1.5 (+100), over 7 (-105)