Excellent pitching matchup in Wednesday’s Tampa Bay at Atlanta matchup between the Rays’ Charlie Morton, a Cy Young finalist last season, and the Braves’ Mike Soroka, who was second in the 2019 NL Rookie of the Year voting. Yet, a surprisingly high total on the baseball betting odds.
Rays vs Braves – MLB Odds & PicksHow to Bet Rays at Braves MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Wednesday, 7:10 PM ET
- Where: Truist Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Charlie Morton/Mike Soroka
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: Braves -135, Rays +125 (total 8.5)
The Rays destroyed the visiting Braves in Monday’s series opener 14-5 behind two homers from Hunter Renfroe, who was an offseason acquisition from San Diego. The 14 runs were tied for the most scored by any major league team this season and were the Rays’ most since July 12, 2019 at Baltimore (16) and most at home since May 30, 2019 vs. Minnesota (14).
Monday was only the second time in franchise history both the Rays and their opponent recorded more runs than hits, with the Rays scoring 14 times on 13 hits and the Braves scoring five times on 4 hits. The only other time it happened in a Rays game was July 20, 2002 at Toronto, when the Rays lost, 12-10, and were out-hit, 10-9.
The team remains without All-Star outfielder Austin Meadows as he had a positive coronavirus test nearly two weeks ago. Meadows continues to rehab at the Rays’ alternate training site in Port Charlotte.
This starts the Rays’ first road trip of the season, with games in Atlanta (2) and Baltimore (3). Last season the Rays went 48-33 (.593) on the road, setting a club record for road wins in a season. Their road record ranked 2nd in the majors behind the Twins (55-26) and was the 2nd-best winning pct. for an AL East club since 2004, behind the 2018 World Series champion Red Sox (51-30).
It’s ace Charlie Morton on the mound. He was selected by the Braves in the 2002 June Draft and made 15 starts for them in 2008 before a trade to Pittsburgh. Morton was hit hard last Friday’s Opening Day loss to the Blue Jays, giving up six runs on seven hits in his four-plus innings of work.
The 36-year-old right-hander struck out four and walked one on the night. He kept the Blue Jays off the board through the first three innings, but the Jays rallied for three runs in the fourth inning, then chased Morton with a three-run blast by Cavan Biggio in the fifth. Morton ended up throwing 80 pitches in the game — 54 for strikes.
Morton is 3-2 with a 3.52 ERA (30.2-IP, 12-ER) in 6 starts against the Braves. He last faced them on May 9, 2017 at home (with HOU), yielding 3 runs (1 ER) in 5.2 IP for the win. All three runs came in the 6th, on RBI singles by Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis and a bases-loaded walk by Dansby Swanson.Why Bet on Atlanta?
The Rays and Braves have met in 10 different seasons, and Atlanta has taken the season series in eight of them. Tampa won the series in 2001 and 2015.
Austin Riley should be back in the Atlanta lineup Wednesday after not starting Tuesday. The 23-year-old had started all four games for the Braves so far — three at third base and one in left field. Riley is 2-for-14 on the young season, including a very long home run against the Mets on Sunday.
Before Tuesday’s game, the Braves called up pitcher Chad Sobotka from their alternate training site. Sobotka will fill the roster spot left vacant by the Braves’ sudden decision to designate Mike Foltynewicz for assignment on Monday.
Folty struggled mightily in his first regular-season start Monday night against the Rays, but that move was as a big surprise after the 28-year-old right-hander pitched well down the stretch in 2019. He also had a 2.85 ERA and 202 strikeouts over 183 innings in 2018. Sobtoka appeared in 32 games last season out of the bullpen, compiling a 6.21 ERA (20 ER/29.0 IP) with 38 strikeouts.
It’s young ace right-hander Mike Soroka on the mound. Soroka was terrific in Friday’s season opener against the Mets, scattering four hits over six shutout innings in a no-decision. The 22-year-old struck out three and didn’t walk a batter, though he did hit a batter. Soroka needed only 69 pitches (48 strikes) to navigate his six innings.
It marked the first time since October that Soroka had completed an inning and gone back to the dugout at least six times.
“I think coming into [this start] we understood it, because the up-downs are a different thing,” Soroka said. “Had it been the fourth or fifth inning when I had hit that pitch count, I definitely would have pushed harder to go back out. But the thing you have to remember is you’re coming into the season with a fresh bullpen as well as a really good bullpen.”Game Trends
- Rays are 1-5 in their last 6 road games.
- Rays are 0-5 in their last 5 road games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Rays are 3-7 in their last 10 games as a road underdog.
- Braves are 7-2 in their last 9 Wednesday games.
- Braves are 37-18 in their last 55 home games.