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MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions | Tigers vs Rays Betting Preview

MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions | Tigers vs Rays Betting Preview article feature image

Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images. Pictured: Shane McClanahan.

  • The Tampa Bay Rays host the Detroit Tigers in an Opening Day affair on Thursday afternoon.
  • Ace Shane McClanahan takes the mound for Tampa Bay, while Detroit turns to Eduardo Rodriguez.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.

Tigers vs. Rays Odds

Thursday, March 30
3:10 p.m. ET
Tigers Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-105 / -115
Rays Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-105 / -115
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

It’s here! The Detroit Tigers are in St. Petersburg, Fla., to take on the Tampa Bay Rays for Opening Day baseball!

I hope you all are as excited as I am. Getting our season-long futures bets in makes for a fun January to March, but nothing matches the day-to-day of having a baseball game on for basically every hour over the next seven months.

It’s the time of year where hope springs eternal for every team. From clubs like the Tigers, who would shock most folks if they were in any sort of contention, to the Rays who, as always, seem to have positioned themselves to be a playoff team come October. There’s something — Spencer Torkelson, Riley Greene, Wander Franco, Shane McClanahan, etc. — to get everyone’s hopes irrationally high.

Thursday’s opening game between the Tigers and Rays pits Eduardo Rodriguez and Shane McClanahan in a battle of southpaws. Interestingly, these are both teams that hit notably better against lefties last season. Let’s see if that carries over to 2023.

Detroit Tigers

The delta between the Tigers’ output vs. right-handed pitchers (74 wRC+) and left-handed pitchers (100 wRC+) in 2022 was among the largest in baseball. They had the worst offense against righties but were a more respectable 19th against lefties.

However, it should be noted that their top four performers against lefties (min. 20 PA) won’t be in the lineup on Thursday. The however to that however is that three of those players contributed less than 30 PAs. (Robbie Grossman being the lone big contributor who is gone.)

Javy Baez (133 wRC+ vs. lefties), Eric Haase (121) and Riley Greene (116) will likely still be in the lineup against McClanahan. Sugar Shane is far from your standard southpaw, though, as THE BAT projections don’t have a single pitcher projected for as low an ERA on as many innings as McClanahan to start the season.

McClanahan has not proven to be overly splitty in his career, carrying a lower wOBA against right-handed batters than lefties.

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Tampa Bay Rays

For the Rays, they play the matchup game as well as any team, so it’s not shocking to see that they were also better vs. lefties (108 wRC+) than vs. righties (99 wRC+) in 2022.

The Rays had a remarkable 10 players with at least 45 PA and a wRC+ over 110 (!!) against lefties last season, and eight of those 10 could be in the starting lineup on Thursday.

It’s worth noting, though, that Eduardo Rodriguez is another reverse-split lefty, and he has done it over a far greater sample size. It makes sense, too, given his reliance on his changeup. That being said, E-Rod looked far from dominant after his lengthy absence last season, posting a 4.75 FIP over his final 52 innings to end 2022.

Tigers vs. Rays Betting Pick

Overall, the Rays are the far better team, so it’s not surprising to see them as heavy favorites. I still like backing them, and I’m eyeing the run line for a few reasons.

For one, sharp money has come in on the over, and I agree with that move. As laid out above, both offenses excelled against lefties, and a total of 6.5 is quite low. In fact, it is also one of my leans.

Second, with it being Opening Day, both teams should have full rein over its bullpens. And, boy oh boy, is the Rays bullpen superior to the Tigers. Per FanGraphs Depth Charts, the Rays have the seventh-best bullpen compared to 28th for the Tigers.

The Rays should be able to hold the Tigers at arm’s length.

What is QuickSlip?

QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Since it’s Opening Day, I’m also going to toss a couple potential player prop options at you.  Since these lines are not out yet, I’ll give you the vague feel for where I’m looking, but follow me in the Action Network app (@TurveyBets) to see my final bets on them.

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