Rays vs. Twins Betting Odds, Picks: Target Friday’s Total (June 10)
Mike Carlson/Getty Images. Pictured: Ji-Man Choi
- The Twins are slight home favorites in tonight's series opener against the Rays.
- Devin Smeltzer takes the mound for Minnesota and he'll be opposed by Tampa's Drew Rasmussen.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Rays vs. Twins Odds
|Over/Under||9 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Minnesota Twins continue their homestand by welcoming in the Tampa Rays for a three-game set this weekend. Minnesota enters this series opener off a tough loss to the New York Yankees, where it opened up a big lead off Gerrit Cole but couldn’t hold on to take the series.
As for the Rays, they are flying high into Minnesota as they are coming off a massive sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals. Tampa Bay has continued to find ways to win despite injuries mounting. For tonight’s opener, the Rays will hand the ball to Drew Rasmussen. He’s been phenomenal this season as he’s transitioned nicely out of the pen. He’ll be up against Devin Smeltzer, who has done an excellent job filling in the Twins’ rotation of late.
While both of these starters have been great thus far, each respective lineup cannot be overlooked, and this may be the outing where each of them heads for the showers early.
Rays Primed to Rock Smeltzer
Tampa Bay has quietly been one of the better offensive teams in the league this season. The Rays are not a team that is built on pitching and defense anymore; they can mash, especially against lefties.
The Rays have the seventh-highest batting average in the majors against left-handers and the second-lowest strikeout rate against them. Those two seemingly go hand in hand as the old adage goes, “put the ball in play, and good things will happen.”
Well, the Rays are not looking for BABIP luck against lefties. They have five guys in their lineup who hit lefties exceedingly well, and they all have average exit velocities above 90 mph on the season.
Smeltzer is a pitcher who plays right into the Rays’ strengths as well. He is a soft-tosser who has given up much more hard contact than his 1.93 ERA portrays. Entering this outing, Smeltzer is in the bottom half of the league in average exit velocity allowed and in the bottom third in hard-hit rate.
Expect Twins Bats to Stay Hot
The Twins were able to do some serious damage against two of the best pitchers in the majors in their series against New York. On Wednesday night, they cracked Nestor Cortes, who has been otherworldly to that point, for four runs and chased him in the fifth. Then Thursday night, they followed it by tagging Cole for seven runs, including back-to-back-to-back-home runs to lead off the game.
Now they get Rasmussen, who’s coming off his longest and most dominant outing of the season as he spun seven shutout innings against the White Sox. While that performance may be the latest addition for Rasmussen, the underlying metrics tell a different story.
On the surface, Rasmussen appears to be a tough guy to hit as he has not surrendered more than six hits in any outing this year. However, he actually ranks in the bottom 40 percent of all qualified pitchers in average exit velocity and hard-hit rate allowed. He’s been fortunate when the ball has been put in play thus far, but that will change against the Twins.
The Twins have been lighting up the scoreboard, and it’s all because they seem to be punishing any mistake thrown at them. Six hitters in their lineup have average exit velocities over 90 mph, and those same six have hard-hit rates above 42 percent. Both marks are well above league average.
This matchup is very different from what appears on paper. Yes, both starters have been solid on the surface, but they will face lineups poised to succeed against them.
That is why I’m taking the over tonight, as both teams should be on the board early and often.
Pick: Over 8.5