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MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions for Brewers vs. Rays: Back Tampa’s Lineup (Wednesday, June 29)

MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions for Brewers vs. Rays: Back Tampa’s Lineup (Wednesday, June 29) article feature image
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Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Randy Arozarena (Rays)

  • The Brewers and Rays face off in an early afternoon affair.
  • Eric Lauer will start for the Brewers while Jeffrey Springs will take the bump for the Rays.
  • D.J. James breaks down the matchup and offers his pick for Wednesday's MLB matchup between the Brewers and Rays.

Brewers vs. Rays Odds

Brewers Odds +110
Rays Odds -130
Over/Under 7.5 (-120 / +100)
Time 12:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Eric Lauer and the Milwaukee Brewers will take on the Tampa Bay Rays and what will likely be Jeffrey Springs and the Tampa bullpen in a getaway game in the middle of the day on Wednesday.

Lauer has had his troubles. With Aaron Ashby and Freddy Peralta sidelined, he’s been one of the weaker members of the Brewers’ pitching staff. His 3.89 ERA doesn’t tell the whole story because his xERA is 4.43, so he’s been relatively lucky.

Springs is a similar case — with a 2.25 ERA and 3.25 xERA — but there’s a chance the Rays either shorten his outing or go with a bullpen day.

Regardless, the angle here is more so fading Lauer’s abilities against a lineup that has crushed left-handed pitching of late. Betting over the Rays’ team total presents value.

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Brewers Have Bullpen Injuries That Could Hurt Them

Lauer may strikeout batters at a more than average rate and walk batters at a less than average rate, but that’s about it. Otherwise, he ranks in the 25th percentile in Hard-Hit Percentage and the 34th percentile in Average Exit Velocity at 89.4 mph.

The Rays rank around the middle of the pack in both, but in the month of June off of lefties, they have a team xwOBA of .327 and an Exit Velocity of 88.2 mph.

Now, the Rays are missing a litany of players who would perform well against Lauer. Manuel Margot, Kevin Kiermaier, Brandon Lowe and Mike Zunino all find themselves on the injured list.

They have five other hitters with a .340+ xwOBA. Isaac Paredes and Yandy Díaz own .420+ xwOBA marks, too.

They have four hitters averaging at least 90 mph off of the bat this month against southpaws, as well. This does not bode well for Lauer.

All in all, the Rays own a wRC+ of 141, which ranks sixth in baseball off of lefties this month.

Much of the Brewers’ bullpen is propped up by the success of both Devin Williams and Josh Hader, who each own sub-2.00 xFIPs. The Rays should accept the fact they will not likely score against these two, but it will take more than just Lauer to hand the game over to these two.

The Brewers only have four other relief arms under a 4.00 xFIP, so their depth is not as wide as the collective numbers may say. The Rays can string together some hits against the bullpen and push across a couple of runs late.

Justin Topa, Jake Cousins, Miguel Sánchez and Luis Perdomo are all on the IL, too. That doesn’t help.


How Will Rays Approach This Potential Bullpen Day?

Since Hader is a lefty, the Rays will at least have a fighting chance. There are also two other active lefty relievers on Milwaukee, so if the Rays can see one of them, they will be expected to score.

Their wRC+ plummets to 86 against righties.

Springs transitioned to a starting role in late May, but in his last two outings, he has allowed at least three runs. His Walk Rate is elite at 5.6%, and his K rate ranks in the 80th percentile.

Milwaukee, however, does own a 109 wRC+ off of lefties this month. The Brewers are without Hunter Renfroe and Alex Jackson, but they’re not as shorthanded as the Rays. They have six hitters over a .340+ xwOBA, plus Mike Brosseau, who has only faced seven lefty pitches this month.

Now, the Rays are not too strong in the bullpen. They have four sub-4.00 xFIPs out in relief, so this is not encouraging if they proceed with a bullpen day or Springs on a short outing.

Regardless, this is a reason to avoid betting the Rays.

Brewers-Rays Pick

The Rays have not announced a starter as of writing, so since their bullpen might get multiple innings on Wednesday afternoon, take their team total over against a weak pitcher in Lauer.

They have had recent success off of lefties and should not shy away from scoring runs here.

Take it from 4 (-120) and play to 4.5 (-110). Milwaukee has a few weaker arms who could get action in this game before the two-headed monster of Williams and Hader.

Pick: Tampa Bay Rays o4 (-120) | play to 4.5 (-110)

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