Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Baseball, MLB

The Texas Rangers will square off against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Fox Sports Southwest is in line to televise this AL matchup and the game is slated to get going at 1:10 p.m. ET.

Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays Odds

Vegas is listing Tampa Bay (-120) as the favorite over Texas (+110). Bettors are able to wager on the game’s total with odds sitting at -125 for over 7.5 runs and +105 for under 7.5. Runline odds sit at -190 for betting the Rangers +1.5 runs and +165 for the Rays -1.5 runs.

The Rangers have gone 7-12 SU this year and are 7-11 against the spread (ATS). They’ve lost 1.6 units for moneyline gamblers in the season’s early going and 7.4 units ATS. Texas is 3-4 ATS over its last seven games and the total has gone over in four of those seven. The Rays, on the other hand, are 4-13 SU and 8-8 ATS. The team’s lost 8.4 units for moneyline bettors and 0.8 units ATS. Tampa Bay has covered the spread just twice over its last seven games and the over has cashed in five of those seven.

Tampa Bay games have an over/under record of 10-6 so far in 2018. Texas has an over/under record of 8-9-1.

Left-hander Cole Hamels will get the start for the visiting Rangers. Hamels is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA and 30 strikeouts. He has yet to face the Rays this year and did not record a start against them in 2017, either.

The Rays will turn to righty Jake Faria (0-1, 8.18 ERA) to the mound. Faria has nine strikeouts and 10 walks to his credit, as well as a 1.91 WHIP. Faria did not record a start against the Rangers in 2017.

Texas’ pitchers have allowed 5.1 runs per game and its starting pitchers own a 5.31 ERA, 1.55 WHIP and 8.38 K/9. The bullpen has logged an ERA of 3.36, along with a WHIP of 1.55.

Rangers hitters have slashed .232/.303/.372 on their way to 3.5 runs scored per game in 2018, including 3.7 runs per game over the team’s last 10 games and 4.4 per game over the team’s last five contests (3-2 SU).

Texas’ hitters have been powered by shortstop Elvis Andrus and outfielder Nomar Mazara. Andrus is slashing .327/.426/.500 with 17 hits, five RBIs and seven runs scored, while Mazara is hitting .318 with 21 hits, two homers, six RBIs and eight runs scored.

Putting up a slash line of .206/.276/.360 across 301 plate appearances, Mazara did not do as well hitting on the road last season (his total season line was .253/.323/.422).

In the other dugout, Tampa Bay’s pitching staff has yielded 5.4 runs per game overall in 2018. Its starting pitching staff has an ERA of 5.13, a WHIP of 1.37 and a strikeouts-per-nine of 8.5. The bullpen has a 4.79 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and 7.9 K/9.

The Tampa Bay hitters are putting up 3.4 runs per outing, including 4.1 per game over its last 10 games and 3.8 per game over their last five. The team’s hit .256/.328/.375 over its last five matchups and is 1-4 SU during that span.

The Rays’ batters have been led by left fielder Mallex Smith and second baseman Daniel Robertson. Smith is hitting .383/.431/.511 with 18 hits, three RBIs and six runs scored, and Robertson’s line is .250/.475/.393 with seven hits, two RBIs and eight runs.

The Rangers have gained 0.8 units and are 6-7 ATS when facing a right-handed starting pitcher this year. The over has hit in five of those games, compared to seven that’ve gone under in such games. On the other hand, the Rays have lost 1.4 units and are 5-1 ATS when facing a lefty starter. The over’s cashed in four of those games, compared to two that went under the total.

Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays Free Pick

Predictions: SU Winner – Rays, ATS Winner – Rangers, O/U – OVER

Betting Notes

  • The Rangers have won three of their last four games SU.
  • The Texas defense has allowed eight errors over its last five games, compared to four errors for Tampa Bay over its last five.
  • The Rangers have hit 13 home runs in their last 10 games, including 10 over their last five.