Monday MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Rays vs. White Sox Betting Preview (June 14)
Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler Glasnow.
- Two of the American League's best teams start a three-game series on Monday night when the White Sox host the Rays.
- Two stellar starters will square off, with strikeout machine Tyler Glasnow starting for Tampa Bay and Lance Lynn for Chicago.
- Mike Ianniello breaks down Rays vs. White Sox and delivers his best bet for the game below.
Rays vs. White Sox Odds
|White Sox Odds||-113|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
Could this three-game series be a preview of the American League Championship Series?
The Tampa Bay Rays (42-24) and Chicago White Sox (41-24) enter Monday with the two best records in the league and both show no signs of slowing down.
Tampa Bay is 7-3 in its last 10 games and coming off a sweep of the Orioles, while Chicago just swept the Tigers and has won eight of 10.
Besides seeing the two best teams in the American League square off, we will also get to see two of the top five pitchers in the American League on the mound Monday night.
Tampa Bay Rays
With Blake Snell in San Diego, Tyler Glasnow is the Rays’ clear ace and is pitching like it.
Glasnow has a 5-2 record with a 2.57 ERA entering his start on Monday night. Opponents are batting just .174 against him this season, which would actually be the lowest mark of his career.
The 6-foot-8 right-hander has some of the best swing-and-miss stuff in baseball. His 12.54 K/9 rate ranks fourth in the majors.
After living with really just two pitches, a fastball and curveball, for most of his career, the rich got richer over the offseason as Glasnow added a slider to his arsenal.
Glasnow uses his two breaking pitchers a little differently. He throws his sliders in the strike zone 59% of the time, while his curveball is out of it 56% of the time, making it his chase pitch. Throwing his curveball less often has made it more effective, allowing just a .086 batting average against and generating a 69.1 K% this year.
You expect the Rays’ pitching staff as a whole to be great, but their offense has been excellent as well. Over the last 30 days, Tampa Bay leads the league in runs scored and ranks sixth in batting average and fourth in OPS. The Rays’ top bats of Randy Arozarena, Joey Wendle and Austin Meadows have led the way.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox were expected to be a breakout contender this season. We knew their lineup was loaded, and their pitching staff was expected to be great with guys like Lucas Giolito, Carlos Rodon, Dylan Cease and Dallas Keuchel.
However, I don’t think anybody expected Lance Lynn to be an AL Cy Young Award candidate in the middle of June.
The 34-year-old Lynn has put together a solid career, posting a career 3.47 ERA over 10 seasons with three teams. He earned an All-Star nomination in 2012 with St. Louis and should be a lock for his second this season.
Through 11 starts, Lynn is 7-1 with a 1.23 ERA, which leads the American League and is second in baseball only behind deGrom.
So what about Lynn is so good? I don’t really know. He has a 9.87 K/9, which is good but not elite like Glasnow. His HardHit% is also just league average.
Lynn keeps things simple. He throws three main pitches, none of which are true breaking pitches. He uses three fastball variations, a four-seamer, cutter and sinker, and teams are batting below .190 against all of them. Lynn has a calm demeanor on the mound and he doesn’t overpower anybody or blow them away, he just outsmarts hitters and makes it look easy.
The White Sox’s lineup is one of the best in the big league. The South Siders rank third in runs per game and batting average, fifth in OPS, fourth in wOBA and second in wRC+ this season.
With one of the deepest lineups in baseball — even without Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal — Chicago still has Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Jose Abreu and Yermin Mercedes all mashing.
Chicago has a +106 run differential this season, the most in the league by 17, which predicts that their expected record should actually be even better by three wins, at 44-21.
Rays-White Sox Pick
For some reason, Tampa Bay has been much better away from Tropicana Field this season. They are 23-10 on the road this season, batting .238 and averaging 5.97 runs per game away from St. Petersburg compared to .223 and averaging 3.88 runs per game at the Trop.
The other split that favors Tampa Bay in this spot is that both starting pitchers are right-handed. Everybody knows by now that Chicago crushes left-handed pitching. They rank first in wOBA and wRC+ against southpaws, while Tampa Bay is 23rd in wOBA and 22nd in wRC+.
The Rays are much better against right-handed pitching, like the two starters we will see Monday night. Tampa Bay ranks eighth in wOBA and fifth in wRC+. Both Wendle and Meadows have been especially good against righties this season.
I don’t want to take anything away from how awesome Lynn has been this season, but it’s worth noting the teams he has faced this year are the Angels, Kansas City (twice), Cleveland (twice), Minnesota (twice), St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit and Toronto. Those teams have a combined .460 winning percentage, and only Cleveland and Toronto have a winning record. Tampa Bay will be the best team he has faced this season.
This game is a virtual coin flip, and the price reflects that.
I am going to lean Tampa Bay because it has been the second-most profitable team in the league to bet on behind San Francisco. If you bet $100 on the Rays every game, you’d be up $1,456. They are the most profitable road team to bet on in the league (+$1,425). The Rays are 19-13 (+$1,039) as an underdog and 14-6 (+$1,168) as a road underdog.
Betting against Lynn scares the heck out of me because of how he has pitched this season. When Glasnow is on, though, he is as dominant as any arm in the league.
In what should be an even game between the two best teams in the American League, I’ll back the Rays if I can get them even money or better.
Pick: Tampa Bay Rays -103 (+100 or better)
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