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Cardinals vs. Rays MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: Will Tampa Bay Continue to Thrive at The Trop? (Thursday, June 9)

Cardinals vs. Rays MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: Will Tampa Bay Continue to Thrive at The Trop? (Thursday, June 9) article feature image
Credit:

Mike Carlson/Getty Images. Pictured: Shane McClanahan

  • The Cardinals and Rays square off in the final game of their series.
  • The Rays have been hot at home this season, and our analyst thinks that trend could continue today.
  • Jules Posner breaks down the matchup and offers up a best bet below.

Cardinals vs. Rays Odds

Cardinals Odds +140
Rays Odds -165
Over/Under 7
Time 1:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The St. Louis Cardinals look to avoid being swept by the Tampa Bay Rays in what some (okay, no one is saying this) are describing as a World Series preview.

Both teams are 6-4 over their past 10 games, but the Rays home-field advantage seems to be in full effect as they are 20-13 at home this season.

The Cards send Miles Mikolas to the mound to act as the stopper. The Rays will counter with Shane McClanahan as the … continue-er.

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St. Louis Cardinals: Where has the Offense Gone?

Overall, the Cardinals are 16-14 on the road this season, which is one of the better road records in the league. However, their offense seems to have been stifled by Tampa Bay pitching and Tropicana Field’s general vibes.

Over the past month, the Cardinals have posted a 113 team wRC+ on the road vs. LHP, good for ninth in MLB. However, it seems the Rays pitching might just be the Cards’ achilles heel, as they’ve struggled to produce in Tampa.

Miles Mikolas has put together a solid year and he’s been especially stingy on the road this season. Over 28 1/3 road innings, Mikolas has posted a 2.54 ERA and a 2.85 FIP.

However, the Cardinals bullpen has struggled of late, ranking in the bottom third of the league in FIP and ERA.

Tampa Bay Rays: Will McClanahan Spin Another Gem?

The Tampa Bay Rays have done well to keep pace with the New York Yankees and now must even more to keep up with the surging Toronto Blue Jays.

One area where they Rays seem to struggle lately is against at homer against right-handed pitchers. Over the past three weeks the Rays have only registered a 96 team wRC+ against at home against right handers. This was highlighted by their struggles on Tuesday against Dakota Hudson.

The Rays beat up on lefty Packy Naughton, but if there is an edge, the Cardinals’ offense may have it in this game.

However, Shane McClanahan has been pretty dominant at home this season. In 46 home innings, McClanahan has posted a 2.35 ERA with a 2.70 FIP — he’s been ace-like.

Additionally, the Rays bullpen seems to be rounding back into form as it is a top-five unit in FIP and a top-three unit in ERA over the past few weeks.

Cardinals-Rays Pick

The Rays moneyline is going around -190 right now, so the only realistic play here is either the Rays’ runline or something on the total. Although the starting pitching match up seems to appeal to under bettors, there’s just something about Mikolas that doesn’t feel great in this spot.

Furthermore, the Cardinals ‘pen has struggled recently and this seems like a situation where the seven-run threshold for the over can be easily achieved. It’s a pretty low number, but the Rays would have to carry that total.

The total also seems risky and the value isn’t appealing enough to take the risk on something that seems uncertain. Since the whole thing is a risk, you may as well take the risk in plus money and bet the Rays runline. As long as it’s in plus money, take it.

Pick: Rays RL +125

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