Tampa vs Reds

Tampa Bay vs Cincinnati | MLB Game Predictions & Betting Odds

Written by on July 8, 2022

The Tampa Bay Rays make a rare visit to Cincinnati on Friday to open an interleague series against the Reds. The Rays are solid favorites on the MLB odds as they are starting AL Cy Young betting favorite Shane McClanahan.

How to Bet Rays at Reds MLB Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Tampa Bay?

The Rays come off winning two of three in Boston following a 7-1 victory Wednesday. Randy Arozarena went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs. Arozarena lined a 106.5-mph two-run double towards the left-center field gap in the top of the third. Then in the top of the ninth, his 105.5-mph solo home run pushed the Rays’ lead to six runs. He’s 8-for-25 (.320) with two home runs and a steal through 25 July at-bats. Josh Lowe went 2-for-5 with an RBI double and a run scored. Lowe poked a 95.6-mph RBI double towards the left-center field gap in the top of the sixth — the seventh double of his MLB career. In an apparent effort to get Lowe going at the plate, the Rays shifted him to the leadoff spot Wednesday. He responded with his second multi-hit effort across 14 starts since being recalled June 20. Lowe has struggled to a .170 average and a 29.1 percent strikeout rate across 55 plate appearances in that span, though he remains a regular in the lineup.

The Rays are 36-8 when scoring 4 runs (or more) and 28-5 when scoring 5 runs (or more), compared to 9-29 when scoring 3 runs (or fewer). The Rays are 35-11 when scoring first and 10-26 when their opponent scores first. TB is 36-8 when it outhits its opponent and 7-26 when recording fewer hits than their opponent.

It’s ace lefty Shane McClanahan (9-3, 1.74 ERA) on the mound here. McClanahan recorded 10 strikeouts over seven innings last Saturday in a win over the Blue Jays. McClanahan yielded just one run on three hits, recording double-digit strikeouts for the second consecutive start and fourth time in 16 starts this season. He generated an 18 swinging strikes, finished with a 39 percent CSW (called strikes plus whiffs) and needed just 94 pitches (68 strikes).

McClanahan has allowed 12 runs (8 ER) in his last 10 starts spanning 66 IP. He ranks among major league leaders this season in strikeouts (133, 1st), ERA (1.74, 2nd), opp avg. (.179, 2nd), WHIP (0.81, 1st), strikeout rate (35.9, 1st), opp OPS (.510, 1st) and SO/BB ratio (7.82, 2nd).

He has never faced the Reds and is 5-0 with a 2.23 ERA (40.1-IP, 10-ER) in seven career interleague starts, including a 0.67 ERA this season.

Why Bet on Cincinnati?

This will be the first meeting between the Reds and Rays since 2017 and for the first time at Great American Ball Park since 2014. Cincinnati leads the series 10-5. In the teams’ most recent meeting, in June 2017 at The Trop, the Rays earned the 2-1 series win.

Major disadvantage for the Reds in that they had to play a doubleheader Thursday but it was at least at home vs. Pittsburgh. Reliever Alexis Díaz could be activated from the IL as early as Friday. Díaz has been sidelined since June 19 due to right biceps tendinitis, but he made it through a live batting practice session without issue on Wednesday and will apparently be allowed to skip a minor league rehab assignment. The 25-year-old right-hander had been getting looks out of the closer role in Cincinnati just prior to the injury.

Reds manager David Bell said catcher Tyler Stephenson (thumb) will play two more games during his rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville before returning from the 10-day injured list. Stephenson look like he could be back in action for the Reds no later than Sunday, assuming he experiences no setbacks with his fractured right thumb. Once reinstated from the IL, Stephenson will take over as the Reds’ No. 1 catcher, pushing Aramis Garcia back into a reserve role.

Fifty-one players have appeared in at least 1 game for the Reds this season, tied with the Mariners for second-most in the Major Leagues behind the Pirates (54). The club record for number of players in a season is 57 (2003).

It’s Luis Castillo (3-4, 3.09) on the mound Friday. Castillo held the Braves to one run in seven innings on Sunday. Castillo showed his best velocity of the year, averaging 97.6 mph with his fastball. He settled for six strikeouts, but he got nine outs on the ground. Since struggling some in his first two outings back from the IL, he has a 2.65 ERA in his last nine starts. This will be his first career appearance vs. the Rays. It’s very likely that Castillo will be traded by the Aug. 2 deadline.

Expert Prediction: Rays 4, Reds 2


I have read enough, I need to place my bet now. What to do?

Bet MLB Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the game

MLB Betting Center

Updated MLB Betting Odds | Online Betting Lines