Braves vs Rays MLB Odds, Picks, Prediction (July 8)

Braves vs Rays MLB Odds, Picks, Prediction (July 8) article feature image

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Spencer Strider (Braves)

Atlanta Braves vs. Tampa Bay Rays Odds

Saturday, July 8
7:15 p.m. ET
Braves Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-110 / -110
Rays Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-110 / -110
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

The Tampa Bay Rays look to snap a season-high, six-game losing streak on Saturday against the Atlanta Braves at Tropicana Field.

The starting pitching duel is an exciting one as Rays rookie Taj Bradley (5.27 ERA in 56 1/3 IP) matches up against Braves ace Spencer Strider (3.66 ERA in 98 1/3 IP).

Will the Braves secure their 11th straight series win as the MLB All-Star break closes in? Or will the Rays find their footing as the AL East race gets tighter with the Baltimore Orioles lurking?

Find out in my Braves vs. Rays betting preview, which includes my pick on the total.

Atlanta Braves

Strider has snapped out of the worst patch of his career with three straight dominant outings. Over his last 19 2/3 innings pitched, Strider owns an ERA of 1.86 with a WHIP of 1.01.

His process in those outings has been highly impressive, as he's put up 28 strikeouts and has seen his expected rates come crashing back down towards elite marks. He paces the league with a 14.2 K/9.

Strider's stuff still rates among the very best in baseball. His Stuff+ rating comes in at 126, with a Location+ of 105.

Atlanta's scorching hot offense will provide a tough challenge for Bradley. The Braves own a wRC+ of 144 over the last 30 days and a BB/K ratio of 0.48. They own strong splits versus righties, with a wRC+ of 116 this season.

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Tampa Bay Rays

It's been quite a struggle for 22-year-old Bradley to this point at the MLB level. He's allowed an ERA of 5.27 with a WHIP of 1.38.

Over his last two outings, he's managed to get through just 7 1/3 innings and has allowed 11 ER in that time.

That certainly doesn't paint the case of a quality starter. However, it's also clear that Bradley has been running with some tough luck this season. His xERA still sits at a solid mark of 3.93 and his xFIP is quite strong at 3.19.

Even if there are some concerns not well indicated by expected marks, batters are never going to own a BABIP of .357 versus Bradley moving forward. Eventually that rate should level off, and Bradley would look more like the pitcher Tampa is expecting.

His arsenal rates quite well. His Stuff+ comes in much better than average at 110, including two dominant fastballs. By Location+, his command has been better than average as well at 102.

Perhaps tipping pitches or an inability to sequence has been part of the concern, but it does seem reasonable to believe that the Rays will help solve the concerns in time.

Tampa Bay's offensive marks have regressed closer to league average over the last 30 days after the team's incredible form to start the season. The Rays own a wRC+ of 102 with a wOBA of .311 since June 9.

Braves vs. Rays Betting Pick

From everything we know about the Rays' organization, it seems likely that Bradley will start showing his sky-high potential soon. There are some positive numbers — which suggest things are going to turn around — and I like the chances he comes in under his ERA line of 2.5 in this spot.

Strider continues to be dominant and deserves to be rated as one of the leagues true elite. Tampa Bay's offense is not nearly as poor as it's been lately, but this is far from a good matchup to get back into form.

Considering the offensive weapons in this game, betting the under in this matchup looks a little scary. But if we credit Bradley for being a far better pitcher than we've seen so far, I think it suddenly becomes a good time to bet a total of eight in an exciting pitcher's duel.

At any price better than -110, I would bet the game to stay under eight.

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