Friday night is the first meeting of the season between the Rangers and Rays, two top American League Wild-Card contenders, as they open a three-game series at what likely will be a largely empty Tropicana Field. The Rays will be MLB Betting favorites.
How to Bet Rangers at Rays MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Friday, 7:10 PM ET
- Where: Tropicana Field
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Lance Lynn/Yonny Chirinos
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: 95.3 WDAE
- MLB Odds: TBA
Why Bet on Texas?
The Rangers will get back infielder Asdrubal Cabrera on Friday. Cabrera’s suspension was reduced from four to three games and he served it early this week in the series against the Detroit Tigers. Cabrera received the ban when he threw some equipment in home plate umpire Bill Miller’s direction to protest a called strike three last Thursday. Cabrera is having a decent season, batting .231 with 11 homers and 43 RBIs.
DH Hunter Pence remains on the injured list. Pence tested his strained right groin while running Tuesday, and though he didn’t have a setback, he also didn’t run at anything close to 100 percent. He has a slash line of 294/.353/.608 batting line and 15 home runs.
It’s veteran right-hander Lance Lynn for Texas. Lynn (9-4) looks to join the double-digit win club for the seventh consecutive year with a victory Friday on the road against Tampa Bay. Lynn saw his streak of eight consecutive quality starts come to an end Saturday against the White Sox, but he managed to pick up the win after retiring 18 of the last 20 batters. Lynn allowed five runs on six hits and one walk while striking out six.
Lynn has 6.0+ IP in each of his last 10 starts, longest such span by a Texas starter (single-season) since 12 straight starts of 6.0+ IP by Cole Hamels to end the 2015 campaign (8/1-10/4/15). Lynn came up one quality start tie of tying the Texas consecutive club record (single season or multiple seasons) of nine. The others who did it were Kenny Rogers (1993 and 2005) and Gaylord Perry (1975).
Lynn has joined Hamels (9 in 2016) as the only Rangers with 9+ victories prior to the break since the start of 2013. No pitcher has had more pre-break wins for Texas since 2012 when Matt Harrison (11) and Yu Darvish (10) cracked double-digits en route to being selected to the A.L. All-Star team. Lynn has 6.0+ IP in each of his last 11 starts, the longest such span by a Texas starter (single-season) since Hamels closed 2015 with 12 straight games with 6.0+ IP.
Lynn has posted at least 10 wins in each of his 6 ML seasons beginning 2012 (missed all of 2016 after undergoing “Tommy John” surgery), one of 13 Major League pitchers with at least 6 10-win campaigns in that span.
- Runs: 5.52
- Hits: 8.80
- Walks: 3.59
- Strike Outs: 9.86
- Runs: 5.05
- Hits: 9.28
- Walks: 3.52
- Strike Outs: 8.31
Why Bet on Tampa Bay?
The Rays have held one of the AL’s five playoff spots (i.e. led the AL East or Top 2 for Wild Card) every day since March 30 (2-1). The Rays led the division as late as games through June 14 (42-27), but have struggled some since.
Tampa Bay was expected to activate third baseman Yandy Diaz on Thursday from the injured list. He’s sporting a .286/.363/.502 batting line with 11 home runs for the Rays this season. Its possible closer Jose Alvarado is activated Friday. The reliever has been away from the club for a couple of weeks while handling a family situation back home but threw a few bullpen sessions this week.
Expected to be Yonny Chirinos (7-3) on the mound. Chirinos allowed two runs on six hits and two walks over six innings during Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Athletics. He struck out three but did not factor in the decision. Chirinos was actually in line for the loss when he exited the game, but the Rays were able to tie it up in the top of the seventh inning to get him off the hook. The 25-year-old has a 3.00 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 71:17 K:BB over 87 innings.
While Chirinos has been utilized mostly as a bulk reliever over his two years with the Rays, he’s building an impressive resume as a starter and has now started six games in a row with an ERA of 2.72 in them. Teams are hitting just .216 against him in that stretch. He has excelled in the early innings, allowing just three runs over 22 innings in the first and second inning. Opponents are hitting just .123 against him in the first and second innings.
“I think he’s put himself in a situation where we’re talking every fifth day or every time through the rotation, what’s best for him, what’s best for us, but the way he’s pitched, it’s certainly deserving of the opportunity to go on and start games,” Manager Kevin Cash said.
Chirinos ranks among AL leaders in ERA (3.00, 8th), WHIP (0.97, 2nd), BB/9 IP ratio (1.76, 4th), SO/BB ratio (4.18, 10th), hits/9 IP ratio (6.93, 7th) and opponents avg. (.212, 8th). His seven wins rank 2nd on the team behind Charlie Morton and have passed his total from 18 apps (7 starts) from his rookie season (5). Chirinos is 5-3 with a 2.72 ERA (72.2-IP, 24-R/22-ER) and .211 opp avg. in 13 apps (8 starts) since allowing a career-high-tying 6 runs on April 12 at Toronto.
- Runs: 4.59
- Hits: 8.88
- Walks: 3.31
- Strike Outs: 9.42
- Runs: 3.59
- Hits: 7.53
- Walks: 2.96
- Strike Outs: 9.42
Rangers vs Rays MLB Betting Trends
- Rangers are 2-5 in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning record
- Rays are 19-8 in their last 27 vs. American League West
- Under is 6-1 in Lynn’s last 7 starts overall
- Rangers are 1-5 SU in their last 6 games against Tampa Bay
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Texas’ last 6 games on the road
- Rays are 3-7 SU in their last 10 games at home
- The total has gone OVER in 12 of Tampa Bay’s last 17 games when playing at home against Texas
Expert Final Score Prediction for Rangers vs Rays
Texas Rangers 4 – Tampa Bay Rays 5