Betting odds: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Minnesota Twins, 8:10 p.m. ET
- Rays (Nathan Eovaldi): -109
- Twins (Jake Odorizzi): -101
- Over/under: 8.5 (u+100)
Scherzer vs. Sale. Severino vs. Kluber. Kershaw vs Bumgarner. We’ve got plenty hypothetical ace vs. ace match-ups that would make fans salivate a lot more than Eovaldi vs. Odorizzi. But these two pitchers, who will face off in Minnesota on Friday night, are both in ace-like form at the moment.
Eovaldi is an interesting story. He is coming off Tommy John surgery, but his arm strength appears unaffected. After a couple rocky outings in June, he has now put together three straight excellent starts, allowing just one hit in two of them.
Per FanGraphs, he ranks first in strike rate among starters and second in chase rate. Eovaldi has a career-high strikeout rate going, and a career-low walk rate. Surely, this current version of Nate Eovaldi is the best. And we are getting him with a reasonable total.
Jake Odorizzi, meanwhile, doesn’t have nearly that level of acclaim. He doesn’t rank first, second or third in any stat. And he certainly won’t be putting up career highs by season’s end. But this current iteration of Odorizzi is about the best you’re going to get, as well: In his past three starts, he’s gone at least five innings, allowing five hits or fewer and two runs or fewer.
There is no significant bullpen fatigue on either side, and the temperature should dip into the 70s after the first half-hour or so of the game, a little more conducive to lower-scoring affairs. Projected home-plate umpire Jeff Kellogg generally calls an even game, and run-scoring in his games has been at league average.
All of these factors together make the under a play for me on Friday.
The Bet: Under 8.5 +100
Editor’s note: The opinion on this game is from the individual writer and is based on his research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.