Orioles vs Rays Odds, Pick, Prediction | How to Bet Total in AL East Showdown
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Gunnar Henderson.
Orioles vs. Rays Odds
The Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays — tied atop the AL East — are trending in different directions as they begin a pivotal four-game series at Tropicana Field on Thursday.
The Orioles have won nine of 11 games while the slumping Rays have dropped 11 of their last 14, including four in a row.
Tampa Bay is a -178 favorite on the moneyline in the series opener, which pits Tyler Glasnow (3.78 ERA in 47 2/3 IP) against Kyle Gibson (4.77 ERA in 115 IP).
The Orioles' 9-2 tear has featured some dominant offensive play, as evidenced by a league-leading 138 wRC+ and an average of 6.9 runs per game.
With rookie Gunnar Henderson finding his form and depth players like Ryan O'Hearn overachieving, the Orioles are quietly trotting out a lineup that offers challenges 1-9.
They have hit right-handed pitching quite well this season, with a 105 wRC+ and .322 wOBA across 2,693 plate appearances. Baltimore's upside versus right-handers will drop slightly, as Cedric Mullins was placed on the injured list on Wednesday with a right adductor groin strain.
Kyle Gibson has struggled badly of late; he has an ERA of 6.27 over his last nine starts and a WHIP of 1.23.
On a per-game basis, his xFIP has trended around 4.50 over that span, and his ERA has clearly been inflated to an extent by a BABIP beyond .300. While that suggests he should fare better moving forward, his K% has trended down over that sample.
Gibson has been hit hard 44.1% of the time this season. His quality of stuff is low with a Stuff+ rating of just 91, including marks of 83 and 91 on his two most commonly used pitches. He has a strike rate of just 56% when ahead in the count, and he has consistently struggled to put away hitters recently.
The Rays have struggled mightily in July. The main concern is they have the worst average in the league with runners in scoring position this month, though that should stabilize in time.
Tampa Bay should have every position player available for this matchup, which profiles as a potential nightmare for Gibson. Tampa's 120 wRC+ versus right-handed pitching is the top mark in baseball; it owns the second-best pitch value versus fastballs, and ninth-best versus changeups.
Tyler Glasnow enters this matchup in strong form, with an ERA of 3.64 over his last 42 innings.
His xwOBA has trended down over his last five starts and now sits at .334. Pitching models rate his work highly, as he now owns a Stuff+ of 117 with a Location+ of 100.
Orioles vs. Rays Betting Pick
Baltimore's offense has been in incredible form. While that’s come with favorable luck on balls in play, it’s clear the Orioles have a talented lineup that poses a tough matchup for opposing right-handed pitchers.
Tampa has stumbled into a tough patch offensively, but that has come with some brutal luck on balls in play with RISP. That was painfully clear in Texas, but this sets up as a good spot for the inevitable breakout to occur versus a middling starter in Gibson.
Baltimore's middle relief has been a consistent problem as well. If the O's end up trailing and need to use their weaker relievers, that's another avenue that could break this game open.
This game sets up as a good spot to bet Over 8 at anything better than -110.
Backing Tampa to cover -1.5 would be my second choice, or its team total to go over 4.5.
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