Rays vs. Marlins: MLB Game Odds and Expert Analysis

Rays vs. Marlins: MLB Game Odds and Expert Analysis

The Citrus Series between Florida’s two MLB teams, the Rays and Marlins, is more important than ever starting on Tuesday as both continue to battle for a playoff spot. Tampa Bay is a short favorite for the opener on the MLB odds.


Tampa Bay Rays vs. Miami Marlins | 2023 MLB Expert Analysis

MLB Week 21: Monday August 28 – Sunday September 3, 2023


How to Bet Tampa Bay at Miami MLB Odds & TV Info

When: Tuesday, 6:40 PM ET
Where: loanDepot park
Probable pitchers (away/home): Aaron Civale/Sandy Alcantara
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
Opening MLB Lines: Rays -108, Marlins -102 (total 7.5)


Why Bet on Tampa Bay?

The Rays have won six of seven but still are chasing Baltimore for first in the AL East – Tampa Bay will be a wild card team at worst. Randy Arozarena went 2-for-4 with three stolen bases and three runs scored in Sunday’s 7-4 win over the Yankees. Arozarena posted his first three-steal game and second multi-steal game this season to bring him up to 18 steals on the year. Arozarena was struggling badly post All-Star break for a while but in August is slashing .276/.390/.425 with three homers, 10 RBI, 22 runs and six steals.

All-Star infielder Yandy Diaz was hit on the forearm by a pitch Friday and hasn’t played since but could Tuesday as he’s not expected to land on the injured list. Diaz, who had homered in his previous at-bat Friday, had two strikes against him when Yankees reliever Jonathan Loaisiga came inside with a pitch that caught Diaz on the side of his forearm.

“It was a hard pitch inside,” Diaz said. “Good thing I had the wristband on or else I think it would probably have been a little worse.”

This season alone, Diaz has been hit by a pitch six times, and three times it has been by Yankees pitchers. Diaz’s AL-leading .326 batting average is the second-highest mark by a qualified hitter through the Rays first 133 games in franchise history, trailing only Jason Bartlett (.338) in 2009. Diaz is attempting to become the first player in Rays history to win an AL batting title. His .403 on-base percentage is also just nine points shy of AL leader LAA Shohei Ohtani (.412) and is the second-best mark through 131 team games in Tampa Bay history, behind Fred McGriff (.413) in 1999.

The Rays have not committed an error in their last six games, their longest streak since stringing together eight consecutive error-free contests from 6/24-7/2. During August, Tampa Bay is 4-5 when committing at least one error compared to 11-3 when going errorlesss, including wins in eight of their last nine such games. On the season, the Rays .988 fielding pct. ranks third in the AL/fifth in the majors. Tampa Bay’s 30 defensive runs saved are sixth most in the majors.

Rays All-Star shortstop Wander Franco remains away from the team and on administrative leave by Major League Baseball under the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. Franco doesn’t have a set length for his stay on administrative leave, as MLB can typically extend it on a week-by-week basis until the investigations have been completed but it doesn’t seem likely that he will play again in 2023.

It’s right-hander Aaron Civale (6-3, 2.59) on the mound here. Civale struck out nine Rockies in five innings last Wednesday but also allowed three runs while taking a no-decision. Civale had his pitches working with a 42 percent whiff rate and 44 percent CSW. It was Civale’s most dominant performance since joining Tampa Bay at the trade deadline, as he generated 35 called or swinging strikes on only 80 pitches.

He allowed only four hits on the night and walked none. Unfortunately, he allowed a hit and hit a batter to start the sixth inning before being pulled from the game and watching as both of those runners came around to score. Since coming to the Rays, Civale has a 3.58 ERA in 20 1/3 innings with 20 strikeouts. The former third-round pick is on pace for his best campaign since his 2019 rookie year with Cleveland.

Civale hasn’t faced Miami this year. A movement-based six-pitch arsenal helps Civale simultaneously keep the opposition guessing (87th-percentile barrel rate) and loud contact at a minimum.

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Why Bet on Miami?

Miami (66-65) is three games out of the NL’s final wild card spot. Tanner Scott earned his third save of the season Sunday after pitching a scoreless ninth inning to beat the Nationals 2-1. He allowed two hits and did not walk or strike out a batter. Reports earlier in the day Sunday surfaced that trade deadline acquisition David Robertson was being removed from the closer role, leaving Scott as the likely candidate to take over as the team’s new closer. Scott allowed two singles but got Jacob Young to ground into a double play to end the game. Scott has now posted nine straight scoreless outings dating back to Aug. 2 and has a 2.55 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 83:23 K:BB in 60 innings.

Jorge Soler went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and a double in Sunday’s win. He’s now up to 35 home runs this year and is tied with Mookie Betts for fifth-most in baseball. He’s got home runs in back-to-back games and 10 total in August and is now slashing .241/.328/.516 with 71 RBI.

The Marlins are batting just .195 with runners in scoring position since the All-Star break, the 2nd-worst mark in MLB ahead of only Oakland (.192). Miami batted .266 with RISP prior to the break, the 4th-highest in the National League.

It’s 2022 NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara (6-11, 4.16 ERA) on the mound here. Alcantara took the loss last Wednesday, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks over 6.2 innings as the Marlins fell 4-0 to the Padres. He struck out three. Alcantara didn’t have his best stuff, managing only eight swinging strikes among his 105 pitches. The right-hander still sports a 3.02 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 50:11 K:BB through 56.2 innings since the All-Star break.

Since the start of 2018, his 12 complete games are the most in MLB and is double the amount of any other pitcher (Gerrit Cole, Adam Wainwright, and Framber Valdez each have 6). He ranks 9th all-time on the Marlins’ wins list with 40 (behind Josh Beckett – 41). His 772 strikeouts rank 3rd among Marlins pitchers behind Josh Johnson (832).

In five career starts against the Rays, he has gone 2-2 with a 2.90 ERA (31.0/10) and 30 strikeouts. Alcantara last faced Tampa Bay on July 26 at Tropicana Field. Tossed his 11th career complete game and 2nd of the season, holding the Rays to 1 run on 5 hits with 1 walk and 7 strikeouts in the win.

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Expert Prediction

Rays 4, Marlins 3


AL East Standings

Updated August 28th
Blue Jays7160.54210.5L133-2938-31
Red Sox6962.52712.5L136-3033-32

W: Wins | L: Losses | %: Winning Percentage | GB: Games Behind | STRK: Current Streak | HOME: Record at Home | AWAY: Record When Away

NL East Standings

Updated August 28th

W: Wins | L: Losses | %: Winning Percentage | GB: Games Behind | STRK: Current Streak | HOME: Record at Home | AWAY: Record When Away


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