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Thursday MLB Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions for Rays vs. Rangers: Back Hot Texas Bats in Home Matinee

Thursday MLB Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions for Rays vs. Rangers: Back Hot Texas Bats in Home Matinee article feature image
Credit:

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Corey Seager.

  • The Texas Rangers host the Tampa Bay Rays for the finale of their four-game series.
  • Corey Kluber gets the start for the Rays and Taylor Hearn will start for the Rangers.
  • Tony Sartori shares his best bet below.

Rays vs. Rangers Odds

Rays Odds -125
Rangers Odds +105
Over/Under 9 (-105 / -115)
Time 2:05 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The fourth and final game of this series begins Thursday afternoon as the AL West’s Texas Rangers host the AL East’s Tampa Bay Rays.

Will the Rangers close out the series with yet a win, or can the Rays get the victory as a short road favorite?

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Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays enter this contest in poor form as they have lost six of their last 11 games and three of their last four games when priced as a road favorite prior to Wednesday.

With right-hander Corey Kluber projected to take the mound for the Rays, I expect these trends to continue. This season, Kluber possesses a 4.03 ERA and 1.187 WHIP through nine starts.

Of those nine starts, the Rays have lost five games. His numbers take an even bigger dip when pitching on the road as he possesses a 6.35 ERA and 1.529 WHIP over his four starts when pitching away from home.

Of those four road starts, the Rays have lost three games. Kluber’s metrics are not any better than his surface-level stats as he possesses a .354 xwOBA, .288 xBA, and .505 xSLG. He will be challenged by the Rangers lineup led by Corey Seager and Kole Calhoun.

I do not expect Kluber to get much run support either as the Rays are slated to go against left-hander Taylor Hearn. Since the beginning of May, the Rays rank just 24th in the league in BA, last in SLG, last in OPS, and last in wOBA when facing left-handed pitchers.


Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers enter this matchup in great form as they have won six of their last seven games prior to Wednesday. When priced as a home underdog, the Rangers have won six consecutive games prior to Wednesday.

I expect these trends to continue with left-hander Taylor Hearn projected to take the mound for Texas. While Hearn has undoubtedly struggled this season, Texas’ strong bullpen and lineup have helped generate the wins when he is on the bump as the Rangers have won in five of Hearn’s last seven starts (71%).

Since the beginning of May, the Rangers’ relief pitching ranks third in the league in ERA, seventh in BA, third in SLG, and third in wOBA. This pitching staff should get good run support as the Rangers are slated to go against right-hander Corey Kluber.

Over that same stretch of time, the Rangers rank 12th in the league in BA, 12th in SLG, and 15th in OPS when facing right-handed pitchers. Texas has fared well in this matchup over the last few seasons as they have won seven of the last 10 meetings against the Rays prior to Wednesday.

Rays-Rangers Pick

This game could present a good live betting opportunity if the Rangers go down early. As I mentioned above, Hearn has not been good this season.

However, Texas’ bullpen and hitting has been solid and should be enough to overcome that. Add that all of the trends point toward the Rangers in this contest, and I am backing them as a home underdog.

Pick: Texas Rangers ML (+105 Play up to -110)

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