Rays vs. Brewers MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Expect Dominance From Brandon Woodruff, Jeffrey Springs (Aug. 10)
John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Brandon Woodruff.
Rays vs. Brewers Odds
|7.5 (+100 / -120)
|2:10 p.m. ET
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
The Rays will look to escape this series against the Brewers with a split after dropping last night's game. However, that will be no easy task against Brandon Woodruff.
Woodruff has been dominant for months now, not allowing more than three runs in 11 straight starts entering this outing today. The Brewers will need everything they can get out of him as they look to stay afloat in the NL Central.
As for Tampa Bay, it will send young lefty Jeffrey Springs to the mound. Springs has made a fabulous transition to the rotation this season. He'll enter this start with a 2.50 ERA and 1.08 WHIP through 22 appearances (14 starts).
The Brewers will be an arduous task, as they're primed to hit lefties, but Springs may be the guy to beat them at their own game this afternoon.
So, let's dig in and find the best angle for this matchup.
Expect Woodruff to Overpower the Rays
The Rays are not a lineup built to hit right-handed pitching. They possess only a handful of left-handed bats, and the only one that has sustained any success this season is Ji-Man Choi.
Overall, the Rays rank 23rd in wOBA and batting average against right-handers. They also come into this matchup with the fourth-highest strikeout rate against righties, and that's what a pitcher like Woodruff will capitalize on.
Woodruff is your classic power pitcher, throwing his fastball — which sits at 96 MPH — 38% of the time. He keeps hitters on their toes with his hard fastball but then sets them up for his devastating off-speed stuff. His changeup has an incredible 55.2% whiff rate, and his slider is not far behind with a 42.9% whiff rate.
In addition to his torrid stretch over the last 11 starts, Woodruff's numbers point to him getting even better. Every single one of his underlying metrics ranks in the top 30% of all qualified pitchers. That's why his xERA sits at 3.27 and his FIP is 2.79.
Look for Springs to Contain Brewers Bats
As I alluded to, Milwaukee is a team built to hit left-handed pitching. Players like Andrew McCutchen, Hunter Renfroe and Mike Brosseau all excel, particularly against lefties. However, Springs is not your typical lefty.
Springs has been substantially better against righties than lefties this season. The most significant discrepancy is in FIP, as he has a 4.59 FIP against lefties and a 3.01 FIP against righties. These reverse splits are due to his arsenal and how he utilizes it.
We'll see him attack righties with fastballs and changeups primarily. His changeup has been a deadly weapon against righties with a 37% whiff rate and a .208 xBA this year. We should see plenty of them today, as he's thrown only 14 changeups to lefties all year.
The lefties are who he'll need to be worried about, as Christian Yelich and Rowdy Tellez have been two of the Brewers' best hitters all season.
Although, Springs has a particular plan of attack for them as well. We'll see him tunnel his fastball, slider and sinker to lefties. These three pitches cause a ton of soft contact, as they all appear similar out of his hand. However, the sinker will run in on the lefties' hands, and the slider will break hard away.
This sequencing is the reason behind his average exit velocity ranking in the top 25% in the majors.
Both of these starters are in great spots to succeed this afternoon. I fully expect them to duel until at least the sixth.
While Woodruff is favored to win this pitcher's duel Springs could match him 0-for-0. That's why I'm taking the full game under here.
Pick: Under 7.5 (-120)