MLB Odds & Picks for Guardians vs. Rays: Time for Tampa Bay to Get Back on Track?
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Corey Kluber #28 of the Tampa Bay Rays
- It's game two of a crucial series between the Guardians and the Rays.
- Both teams are fighting for playoff positioning and need to pile up wins.
- Jules Posner breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet below.
Guardians vs. Rays Odds
|Time||1:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Tampa Bay Rays look to pull themselves out of a funk and pull even in their series against the Cleveland Guardians. The Rays are 3-7 over their past 10 games, but are looking to bounce back on Saturday afternoon.
The Guardians continue to pressure the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central lead as they find themselves 1.5 games back. They are also 1.5 games back of the Wild Card behind the Tampa Bay Rays. This series actually has pretty big implications in the Wild Card picture.
Corey Kluber and Zach Plesac square off in the second game of what could be a significant series for both teams. Both pitchers have had their struggles, but this should be a good match up.
Cleveland Guardians: Bullpen Continues to Thrive
The Guards offense is a highly underrated bunch. They presently have the third best wRC+ on the road against right handers, but with Josh Naylor being day-to-day with back issues, this significantly weakens their offensive attack.
Zach Plesac has also struggled on the road this season. He has a 4.97 ERA with a 4.04 FIP and a 4.46 xFIP over 54 1/3 road innings. He’s not a high strikeout pitcher and if he can’t induce weak contact and strand runners, he can run into trouble. Additionally, he’s 2-8 on the season and the Guardians are 7-11 in Plesac starts.
The Guardians’ bullpen has been lights out lately after a a rough couple of months. They’ve really found their footing and have helped propel the Guardians recent surge in the standings. Presently they have the best FIP and the 5th best ERA over the past two weeks.
Tampa Bay Rays: Offense Could Use Some Home Cooking
The Rays are 31-19 at home this season and hope to avoid their 20th home loss on Saturday afternoon. Another huge bonus about returning home is the Rays hit well there. Presently they have the 4th best wRC+ at home against right handers over the past couple of weeks.
Corey Kluber seems comfortable pitching at home as well. He’s posted a respectable 3.42 ERA with a 3.22 FIP and a 3.70 xFIP over 50 home innings. Although the Guardians offense is a bit of a buzz saw, Kluber’s ability to pitch into his defense seems to be especially reliable at home.
On the other hand, the Rays bullpen is pitching quite poorly over the past couple of weeks. That’s hard to believe because the ‘pen is usually the best thing about the Rays. Hopefully they’re due for some positive regression at home.
This is definitely a close match up, but the potential absence of Josh Naylor from the Cleveland lineup completely changes the dynamic of the offense. The Rays do carry a starting pitching edge into the match up, but it is creepy how similar Kluber and Plesac are in terms of stuff.
The Rays’ moneyline sits at -125 and that looks to be a pretty solid value considering the Guardians struggle to score behind Plesac and are only 26-29 on the road. The Rays’ home-field advantage may loom large here. Go with the Rays’ moneyline to -150 or better.
Pick: Rays ML