Orioles vs Rays Odds & Prediction: Betting Value on Wednesday’s Over/Under
Pictured: Taj Bradley. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Orioles vs Rays Odds
While their historic pace has slowed a tad, the Tampa Bay Rays are still running away with the American League East and have the best record in baseball.
Meanwhile, Baltimore sneakily has the third-best record in baseball (45-27). The Orioles are playing great baseball and showed resilience Tuesday as they held off the Rays’ comeback attempt.
The Rays will look to stop a mini skid, while the Orioles will look to continue chipping away at Tampa’s division lead. Keep reading for my preview and betting pick for this AL East showdown.
It has been a bit of a breakout campaign for Tyler Wells in his third season in the big leagues. After making 44 appearances out of the bullpen in 2021, he transitioned to the starting rotation in 2022 and made 23 starts while posting a 4.25 ERA.
Through 14 games this season, Wells is 6-2 and has a 3.20 ERA. He doesn’t have elite stuff, but has been consistent and has thrown at least five innings in each outing. Wells has held opponents to two or fewer runs in nine of his 14 games.
A big reason for this year’s improvement is Wells raising his strikeout rate from 18% to 26.1%. He also added a slider to his arsenal and found a better pitch mix with his slider, changeup and cutter.
The Orioles rank top 10 in both wRC+ and wOBA and have shown great improvement at the plate. While their lineup has cooled off a bit over the past month, top prospect Gunnar Henderson is finally heating up. The rookie shortstop is batting .333 with five home runs and a 1.106 OPS over the past 15 games.
Speaking of top prospects, Tampa Bay’s No. 1 prospect, Taj Bradley, will start for the Rays. After making his MLB debut on April 12, he has been up and down from the minors, but has made nine starts in the majors.
The results have been mixed. Bradley owns a 4.19 ERA, but 3.35 xERA. He has shown elite strikeout stuff and fanned 11 over 4 1/3 innings in his most recent start, albeit against a weak Oakland team.
Bradley throws a fastball that can touch 98 mph, as well as a cutter, curveball and changeup. He has struggled with walks a bit recently, but has previously shown above-average command. Allowing hard contact has been a problem for Bradley, but if he can continue missing bats at an elite rate, he should be fine.
Taj Bradley has seen six batters, he’s struck out six batters, and every single one of them has been absolutely nasty! pic.twitter.com/o7CeAdtL9a
— Just Baseball (@JustBB_Media) June 15, 2023
What needs to be said about this Tampa Bay lineup, other than that they are the best in baseball? The Rays lead the league in wRC+ and rank second in wOBA this season. The Rays rank second in wRC+ against left-handed pitchers and first against right-handed pitchers by a wide margin.
Tampa Bay has a ridiculous seven players with a wRC+ above 120 and has three guys above 150 in Yandy Diaz, Luke Raley and Randy Arozarena.
Orioles vs Rays Betting Pick
As terrifying as it is to bet an under with this Rays offense involved, I really like the upside of these starting pitchers. Wells has been solid in his past four starts and consistently works deep into games. He has great command and above average strikeout stuff.
After striking out 31 batters in his first seven starts this year, he has punched out 51 in his past seven.
I think we are going to see Bradley start performing to the level of a No. 1 prospect soon. His 4.19 ERA and .303 wOBA are much higher than his 3.35 xERA and .288 xwOBA. He also ranks in the top 15% of the league in xERA and xwOBA.
Bradley has elite strikeout stuff. His 13.19 K/9 rate ranks second in the league among starting pitchers, trailing only Spencer Strider. He has struck out over 34% of the batters h's faced and is coming off an 11 strikeout performance.
Baltimore’s offense is much better against left-handed pitchers and ranks 13th in the league in wOBA against right-handed pitchers, like Bradley. This will likely be a sweat until the very end, but I’ll back the young arms and the under.
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