Twins vs Rays Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Tuesday, June 6

Twins vs Rays Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Tuesday, June 6 article feature image

Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Byron Buxton.

  • The Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays open a three-game series on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.
  • After starting the season on a tear, the Rays have hit some bumps on the road -- notably on offense and in the bullpen.
  • Action Network’s D.J. James previews Twins vs. Rays, and makes a strong case for betting the Minnesota moneyline.

Twins vs. Rays Odds

Tuesday, June 6
6:40 p.m. ET
Twins Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-106/ -114
Rays Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-106/ -114
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

The Tampa Bay Rays have fallen off from their torrid hitting stretch. That being said, they still held a four-game lead on the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the American League East entering Monday. However, they'll need to create a wider margin again in order to make up for shortcomings in the bullpen.

Tampa Bay's starting rotation has been good — Tuesday's starter, Zach Eflin, is part of the reason why. He will start against Louie Varland and the Minnesota Twins.

The Twins have not necessary crushed the ball, but they have been better than the Rays. The Minnesota bullpen has also been far more effective than Tampa Bay’s. For these reasons, the Twins hold value on the moneyline on Tuesday at Tropicana Field.

Continue reading for my breakdown of the Rays vs. Twins series opener.

Minnesota Twins

Varland may be pitching above his pay grade with a 4.39 xERA against a 3.51 ERA. He showed improvement in May, recording a 3.34 ERA over 35 innings (six starts). He also faced some tough lineups — like Houston and Toronto — and shut them down, so he could do the same against slumping Tampa Bay.

One perk is he only has a 4.8% walk rate with a slightly above average strikeout rate (23.2%). This should make up for his 39th percentile ranks in Average Exit Velocity and Hard Hit Rate.

When facing righties over the last month, the Twins rank ninth in wRC+ at 107, with a 10.1% walk rate and .737 OPS. They have struck out at nearly a 29% clip, so this is concerning against Eflin’s arsenal, though they have been above average.

Joey Gallo, Nick Gordon, Gilberto Celestino and Trevor Larnach are all on the injured list, but the Twins still have nine hitters with a .325+ xwOBA against righties, including eight above a .340. This means anyone they play should be able to put together a strong plate appearance versus most Tampa Bay right-handers.

In relief over the last month, Minnesota has a 4.30 xFIP, which ranks in the middle of MLB. The Twins have a 26.7% strikeout and 10.9% walk rate, so they will collectively allow batters to reach base.

Getting Caleb Thielbar back from injury is an added plus. Jhoan Duran has been virtually unhittable with a 43.2% strikeout rate over 10 1/3 innings, so with that, they should have multiple innings covered behind Varland.

Duran is that dude. 🔥

— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) June 3, 2023

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Tampa Bay Rays

Eflin is similar to Varland in that he doesn't permit baserunners. He owns a 3.4% walk rate against a 24.5% strikeout rate. He also has above average rankings in Average Exit Velocity and Hard Hit Rate. On paper, Eflin bests Varland with a 3.30 ERA against a 2.98 xERA.

However, Tampa has really slipped in hitting metrics. Over the last month, they have a 109 wRC+ with a 9.5% walk rate and .727 OPS off righties. In the last week, though, they have slumped mightily. They still have around a 10% walk rate, but they hold a 69 wRC+ against right-handers.Brandon Lowe is now on the IL, which obviously doesn't help.

The Rays have eight hitters with a .325+ xwOBA off right-handed pitching. This is one fewer than the Twins, who have at least remained stable in their hitting statistics. The small edge on offense goes to Minnesota.

In relief, Tampa has been at the bottom of the barrel all season. They have the worst xFIP in the last month, and they only have one active reliever (Jalen Beeks) under a 4.00 xFIP. Zack Littell, Garrett Cleavinger and Pete Fairbanks are all injured, so they do not have the late-inning wiggle room Minnesota does.

Twins vs. Rays Betting Pick

Minnesota should push across a few late runs on Tampa Bay's putrid bullpen. Eflin is good but not that much better than Varland, so he doesn't mitigate Tampa’s recent troubles at the plate.

Since Minnesota’s lineup has been solid, take them at +144, and play them down to +110. The odds for this game should be closer to even.

Pick: Twins ML (+144 | Play to +110)

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