The Tampa Bay Rays are the best team in baseball at 14-2 so far on the season, and they hope to continue their winning ways against the Cincinnati Reds. It is time to continue our MLB odds series with a game one Rays-Reds prediction, pick, and how to watch.
The Rays had a historic start to the MLB season, winning their first 13 games before dropping two games to the Blue Jays. The Rays bounced back yesterday with an 8-1 win over the Blue Jays, and look to start a new winning streak. The Reds just split four-game series with the Phillies, but are coming off a 14-3 beating that saw them give up nine runs in the first inning. The Reds may be welcoming back Joey Votto soon, but how much of an impact he will have is yet to be seen.
Here are the Rays-Reds MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Rays-Reds Odds
Tampa Bay Reds: -1.5 (+114)
Cincinnati Reds: +1.5 (-137)
Over: 9.5 (+100)
Under: 9.5 (-122)
How To Watch Rays vs. Reds
Time: 6:40 PM ET/ 3:40 PM PT
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Why The Rays Could Cover The Spread
The Rays have been amazing in just about every aspect of the game so far this year. They are second in MLB in batting average at .280, and second in on-base percentage at .356. They lead the league in home runs, RBIs, and total bases. The offense is tearing the cover off the ball and has slowed down very little since the start of the year. At the same time, their team ERA leads MLB at 2.54. Their four shutouts tie the league lead, and their eight quality starts are tied for second. They are second in hits against, opponent on-base percentage, and WHIP in the league as well. They keep the ball in the yard, only giving up seven home runs on the year. Even their Feilding is solid, sitting 8th in baseball in fielding percentage.
Brandon Lowe is leading the way for the offense this year. He has an on-base percentage of .442, five home runs, and 12 RBIs. He leads the team in walks and is second in total bases. The team leader in total bases is Wander Franco. He is hitting .318 on the year, with four home runs and eight doubles to give him 41 total bases on the year. Franco is also second in RBIs at 13. The team leader is Randy Arozarena, who has 17 RBIs and has been hitting wonderfully with runners in scoring position.
Jalen Beeks is scheduled to make his second start of the year. Beeks is a relief pitcher naturally, but with injuries to the rotation, combined with Tampa’s regular use of an opener, Beeks may see more opportunities to start games. On the season he has a 3.00 ERA in six innings of work. His only start of the year saw him go two innings, with just one hit and two strikeouts against the Red Sox in a 1-0 victory.
Why The Reds Could Cover The Spread
While the Rays’ offense has been elite so far this year, the Reds are not bad themselves. They are 12th in baseball with a .259 batting average and a .336 on-base percentage. They have 71 runs batted in, which is good for 15th in the league. The power has not been present though, as they have only hit 14 home runs this year, 25th in MLB. The Reds can score in bunches though. In their six wins on the season, they are averaging 6.83 runs per game. In their nine losses, they are averaging just 3.33 runs per game. Getting consistency on offense will be key for the Reds.
The offense is led by Jonathan India. India currently has a .424 on-base percentage and a batting average of .333. He has six doubles and a home run which contribute to his team lead in total bases. He has also been the recipient of good batting with runners in scoring position. India has scored a team-high 15 runs this year. The little bit of power the Reds have had comes primarily from Jason Vosler. He has three home runs on the season, which leads the team. He also has two doubles and a triple to his credit. While he had six extra-base hits, he only has eight hits on the season. His batting average is sitting at just .182 this year.
Hunter Greene will get his third start of the season and be looking for his first win. He has improved with each start, seeing his ERA decrease, while the longevity of his starts increases. His last time out he gave up three runs in six innings while striking out ten against the Braves. If that trajectory continues, a quality start could be in line for Greene, which will give the Reds a chance to win.
Final Rays-Reds Prediction & Pick
The Rays finally lost and struggled on offense in the process. The two losses were by a combined 11-5, and the run totals were the second and third lowest of the season. Still, the Rays are the best team in baseball. They have failed to score five or more runs just four times this year. Two of those times, the pitching staff threw a shutout and got the win. The Reds do not have consistency in their bats right now, so unless they can drag out at-bats and make the Rays’ bullpen work, the Rays should run away with this one.
Final Rays-Reds Prediction & Pick: Rays -1.5 (+114)
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