MLB Odds, Expert Pick, Prediction for Braves vs Rays

MLB Odds, Expert Pick, Prediction for Braves vs Rays article feature image

Pictured: Ronald Acuna Jr. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Braves vs. Rays Odds

Friday, July 7
6:40 p.m. ET
Apple TV+
Braves Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-110 / -110
Rays Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-110 / -110
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

Charlie Morton and Tyler Glasnow have both pitched above their expected numbers this season and will face off as the Rays host the Braves on Friday night.

Morton has been serviceable, but most of the talk surrounding the Braves centers on their lineup and bullpen.

The Rays can also hammer the ball, and given Glasnow’s tendency to get into trouble, Tampa Bay may need to put up some runs early and often.

That said, the total should be in play in the Braves vs. Rays series opener.

Atlanta Braves

Morton ranks in the 68th percentile in Average Exit Velocity and the 64th percentile in Hard-Hit Rate. However, he's also walking 10% of hitters and his xSLG is .425. He pairs a 3.57 ERA with a 4.67 xERA, so his 4.28 ERA in June wasn't bad luck, but simply expected regression.

The Braves probably have the best lineup in the majors and are rivaled only by the Texas Rangers. Atlanta hammers right-handed pitching and boasts a 154 wRC+ over the past month with a sub-19% strikeout rate and a 8.8% walk rate. The teamwide slash line is an incredible .310/.372/.580, and they have eight active hitters with an xwOBA over .320.

Ronald Acuña Jr. is roughly on pace to hit 40 home runs and steal 70 bases this year and that's completely

— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) June 28, 2023

In relief, the Braves have stepped up, another reason why they are one of the best teams in baseball. In the past month, they own a 3.71 xFIP with a 28.1% strikeout rate. Atlanta should have plenty of options behind Morton, but the middle-relief options could be questionable with Jesse Chavez injured. The Rays may be able to stack on runs after Morton exits.

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Tampa Bay Rays

Glasnow hasn't been great this season. Since returning from the Injured List, he holds a 4.50 ERA against a 5.06 xERA. His Barrel Rate is 18.3% with an Average Exit Velocity of 91.3 mph and a 48.8% Hard-Hit Rate. A matchup against the Braves' lineup could be a recipe for disaster.

However, the Rays have been mashing against right-handed pitching. In the past month, Tampa Bay has a .764 OPS and a 116 wRC+, which are both well above average.

The Rays are seeing some positive trends in relief, though there's still room to improve. They have a 4.18 xFIP over the past month, but multiple relievers still have issues, and if Glasnow struggles, the Braves — like the Rays — will take advantage of weak middle relief.

Braves vs. Rays Betting Pick

Both of these teams can hit right-handed pitching and have capable hitters throughout the lineup. The Braves have been better, yes, but the Rays are atop the brutally tough American League East despite an underperforming bullpen. This over should be in play with Morton’s control problems and Glasnow’s propensity to yield hard contact. Take the over from 8.5 (+100), and play it to 9.5 (-120). The team totals should hit in conjunction with this.

Pick: Over 8.5 (-105) | Play to 9.5

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