Rays vs. Mariners Odds, Pick & Preview: Runs Should Be At a Premium in Seattle (Friday, May 6)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Julio Rodriguez
- The Mariners are slight home favorites in tonight's matchup with the Rays.
- Seattle will send Logan Gilbert to the mound, while Tampa will go with a bullpen day starting with Matt Wisler.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Rays vs. Mariners Odds
|Over/Under||7 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||9:40 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Rays and Mariners couldn’t be further from each other at the moment, with the former playing lights-out ball and the latter struggling to score runs.
With a solid pitching matchup bringing these two teams close together, should we target the total? Let’s get into this one.
Rays Just Keep Rolling
The Rays’ winning machine continues to operate without much interruption. Despite roster turnover and injury, Tampa Bay always seems to figure out how to assert itself as a major player in the American League East.
With four straight wins, this team sits firmly in second place in the division and will await a dip in level from the New York Yankees.
Tampa Bay sits fourth in wRC+ for the season though it owns the sixth-highest batting average on balls in play at .303. With a .328 xwOBA which ranks 14th in the league, there’s certainly reason to believe Tampa Bay isn’t this good, though the floor for the Rays is likely a slightly above-average team.
The Rays will go with Matt Wisler to start and rely on their bullpen to get them a win yet again. That’s been a winning strategy for Kevin Cash for years, and this season is no different. Tampa Bay’s bullpen ranks ninth in xFIP and fourth with a 2.79 ERA.
The bullpen also has the second-best walk rate and ranks sixth in strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Mariners In A Funk
Things have gone from bad to worse for Seattle. This team has now lost eight of the last nine games and has fallen into a rut at the plate. Though the Mariners have technically scored four runs per game this year and rank among the elite in wRC+, they’ve mustered up just five runs in the last four games.
Let’s talk positively about Seattle, though. We’ll start with the fact that the Mariners are still second-best in walk rate. They’ve done a great job of applying pressure on opposing pitchers by getting traffic on the base paths.
They’ve also struck out just 21.6% of the time, ranking in the lower third of the league in that category. Above all else, their .231 batting average is 37 points lower than their expected batting average of .268 — the third-largest differential in the major leagues.
That’s a very encouraging sign, especially considering the Mariners have been able to score plenty of runs already this season. It gives you confidence that this recent dip at the plate is simply temporary.
Logan Gilbert will be the one to get the ball for Seattle, which is more good news. He’s the proud owner of a 0.64 ERA this year, and, while his expected ERA is almost three runs higher than this mark, he’s sporting above-average strikeout and walk numbers.
On the whole, his sample size is still very small at the major-league level and it’ll take a little while to figure out who he is as a pitcher. The early signs are encouraging, though.
Boy, this one is a difficult one to call. The Mariners are due for some positive regression at the plate, but they’re going to be up against one of the best bullpens in baseball. The Rays have the better offense, but Gilbert has been excellent all year long. Even if his ERA climbs up over a run in this game, it’s unlikely he allows a crooked number.
The total is where I’m looking in this one. I expect very few baserunners with two pitchers who are excellent at limiting walks, and a few scattered home runs will likely be the extent of the offense.
Pick: Under 7 (-110)
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