Rays vs Reds Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Wednesday, April 19
Pictured: Drew Rasmussen. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
Rays vs. Reds Odds
Drew Rasmussen was a massive piece to the Tampa Bay Rays’ season-opening win streak. He struggled in his latest outing, allowing five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays, but he was next to un-hittable against the Washington Nationals and Oakland A’s.
He will face Levi Stoudt, who will be making his MLB debut, with the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. Stoudt hasn’t necessarily had the best start in AAA, but will get his big break against the best lineup in baseball against right-handed pitching.
Stoudt may get a rude welcome with how well the Rays have hit, but the Reds may struggle against Rasmussen. Taking the Reds to go under their team total is the correct call given how Rasmussen has fared against weaker lineups.
Rasmussen ranks in the 82nd percentile in Average Exit Velocity and the 94th percentile in hard-hit rate. His chase rate is in the 96th percentile and since he’s facing a lineup that chases more than average, he should fare well. He throws a four-seam/cutter combination over 60% of the time and his fastball averages 96 mph. He strikes out nearly 30% of hitters and walks just 6.2%. He’s been effective against the weaker teams in the league and the Reds shouldn’t be any different.
The Rays lineup ranks at the top of the league in wRC+ against righties at 151 with a 10%+ walk rate and a sub-20% strikeout rate. In this matchup, though, their team total and moneyline/spread are too inflated to hold any weight.
Out of the bullpen, the Rays somehow rank fourth-to-last in xFIP at 5.11. They are only striking out 17.9% of hitters and walking nearly 10%. The Reds rank in the bottom-10 in walks, so this should be a slight boost to Tampa Bay’s relievers.
Stoudt is a 25-year-old former third-round pick. In AAA this season, he held a 1.55 WHIP over 11 innings before getting called up to the bigs. He walked nine, while only striking out 10, which is questionable against a lineup that knows how to walk and doesn’t strike out much against righties.
The Reds have been about average against right-handers, but most don’t compare to Rasmussen. They have a team walk rate above 11% and hold a wRC+ of 99 (about average). That said, Rasmussen forces teams to go after bad pitches. The Reds have four hitters with a .340+ xwOBA off of righties. That’s not terrible, but they haven’t faced Rasmussen’s arsenal.
In relief, the Reds rank in the middle of the pack with a 4.35 xFIP. That’s one reason it’s tough to back the Tampa Bay team total or run line — Cincinnati has been better in relief.
Rays vs. Reds Betting Pick
The Reds will have a tough time with Rasmussen. They have shown they can walk against righties, but Rasmussen doesn’t walk many. Some hitters in the Reds’ lineup strike out often, which is another edge to Rasmussen. The Rays also have at least four arms that can perform well in relief. Take the Reds under their team total at 4 (-133), and play to 3.5 (-120).
Pick: Cincinnati Reds u4 (-133) | Play to 3.5 (-120)
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