Rangers vs Rays Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Expert Picks for Friday, June 9

Rangers vs Rays Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Expert Picks for Friday, June 9 article feature image

Pictured: Corey Seager. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

  • The Rangers head to Tampa Bay to face the Rays on Friday night.
  • Tampa Bay is undoubtedly one of the best teams in baseball this season, but our expert is siding with Texas in this matchup.
  • Continue reading as D.J. James details his best bet for Rangers vs. Rays below.

Rangers vs. Rays Odds

Friday, June 9
6:40 p.m. ET
Rangers Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-115 / -105
Rays Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-115 / -105
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

In one of the most anticipated matchups of the season thus far, the Texas Rangers travel to Tampa to face the Rays for a weekend series. In the opener, Andrew Heaney will start for the Rangers against Tyler Glasnow of the Rays.

Heaney hasn't blown anyone away, but he has been a consistent presence on the mound. Outside of a couple of tough starts, he has been solid and should be a decent matchup against the Rays.

Glasnow returns to the bump for the third time this season and has shown why he's Tampa's ace. Obviously, he wants to get his legs underneath him, so him going too deep in this game isn't likely. This means much of the game will be left in the hands of the worst bullpen in baseball.

Given that Texas is one of the hottest hitting teams in the league, backing their bats (and Heaney) as underdogs is the right call here.

Texas Rangers

Heaney only threw three innings in his last start against the Mariners and allowed three earned runs. In May, however, he posted a 3.26 ERA over 30 1/3 innings. On the season, he ranks in the 34th percentile in Average Exit Velocity and the 74th percentile in Hard Hit Rate. His 4.03 ERA and 4.25 xERA are about middle of the road, but those numbers don't fully reflect the improvements he made in May.

The Rangers have a phenomenal lineup. Since May 9, they hold a 121 wRC+ off of right-handed pitching. They also have a .801 OPS and both of those numbers rank as the best in the league in that timeframe. Texas has 10 active hitters with a xwOBA over .320 off of righties, showing the lineup has depth from top to bottom.

Corey Seager off the batter's eye. ☄️ pic.twitter.com/sWri1FMRBA

— MLB (@MLB) June 4, 2023

In relief, Texas has struggled at times, but the Rangers do have five relievers with an xFIP under 4.00. So behind Heaney, they have the artillery needed to close down the Rays.

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Tampa Bay Rays

Glasnow is an elite pitcher, when healthy. He's made just two starts this season, but has an average exit velocity of 95.4 mph, a 62.5% Hard Hit Rate and a 20.8% Barrel Rate. Sure, the sample size is small, but the Dodgers and Red Sox hit him hard and that can't be ignored. In 2021, even with a 2.66 ERA and a 2.74 xERA, his Average Exit Velocity was above 91 mph and his Hard Hit Rate was over 46%. That's not ideal, especially against a lineup of the Rangers’ caliber.

The Rays can hit lefties. Over the past month, they have a .894 OPS and a 154 wRC+. The only team ahead of them in that timeframe is the Dodgers. They also have 10 bats with an xwOBA over .320 off of lefties. However, the numbers — albeit slightly — have dipped a bit in June. This month, the Rangers have a 121 wRC+ off of lefties.

The story here, given that Glasnow likely won't pitch deep into the game, is the Tampa bullpen. The Rays only have one active reliever with an xFIP below 4.00 and have a 5.14 xFIP since May 9 as a unit.

Rangers vs. Rays Betting Pick

The Rays are a great baseball team, but Texas should get a slight edge with a reliable starter and a better bullpen. Since the bats have been similar lately, take the Rangers on the moneyline at +146, and play them to +105.

Pick: Rangers Moneyline | Play to +105

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