Always a pain to handicap a Tampa Bay Rays game because a few days a week they go with an “opener” and you aren’t sure who that will be or who might follow him into the game. Tampa Bay is set to go with an opener on Thursday afternoon in a series finale vs the Detroit Tigers and the MLB odds will be in flux until it’s clear who gets the call.
How to Bet Rays at Tigers MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Thursday, 1:10 PM ET
- Where: Comerica Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): TBA/Daniel Norris
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: Tampa Bay / Detroit
- Opening MLB Lines: TBA
Why Bet on Tampa Bay?
The Rays have scored 37 runs in the 1st inning, tied for 5th in the majors, and their 13 HR in the 1st are tied for 3rd in the majors. By comparison, last year they hit 15 HR in the 1st, fewest in the AL.
Second baseman Joey Wendle was expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Wednesday. Wendle has already joined up with High-A Charlotte. The infielder has been on the IL since April 25 with a fracture in his right wrist. He should be back with the Rays by the middle of June.
Reliever Jose Alvarado (family) is aiming to return to the Rays on Saturday or Sunday. Alvarado was placed on the family medical emergency list this past weekend and is back in Venezuela dealing with a private matter. The 24-year-old right-hander is sitting on a 3.09 ERA and 32 strikeouts through 23 1/3 innings this season with the Rays, and he is tied for the team lead in saves with six.
Not clear who the Rays will start on Thursday as they will use an “opener” and then a committee. The team currently only has three healthy starters in Charlie Morton, Blake Snell and Ryan Yarbrough, so when it’s not their turn in the rotation (and it’s not Thursday) the club uses and opener.
The traditional starters used by the Rays this season have a 2.77 ERA, while the openers have a 1.50 ERA (30- IP, 5-ER) in 18 games, including 15 apps without an earned run. The Rays have allowed 19 runs in the 1st inning this season, 3rd-fewest in the majors behind the Twins (14) and Padres (18). In 57 games this season, the Rays have yielded 3 runs or fewer 37 times (64.9 pct.) and 1 run or fewer 18 times (31.6 pct.). Both of these are the most in the majors. They have yielded 2 runs or fewer 26 times (45.6 pct.), 2nd-most in the majors behind the Astros (27).
The Rays have won the last two season series vs. Detroit, 4-2 in 2018 and 5-2 in 2017, going 6-0 at home and 3-4 in Detroit. Since the start of the 2011 season, the Rays have won only one of their last eight series at Comerica Park (3-1, July 3-6, 2014).
- Runs: 4.69
- Hits: 8.95
- Walks: 3.63
- Strike Outs: 9.44
- Runs: 3.36
- Hits: 7.34
- Walks: 2.95
- Strike Outs: 9.69
Why Bet on Detroit Tigers?
Second basemen Josh Harrison will undergo surgery later this week to repair his Grade 2 left hamstring strain. He’s expected to require 6-8 weeks of rest and recovery. Harrison was placed on the injured list near the end of May, and can now be ruled out until after the All-Star break. The 31-year-old infielder had hit just .176/.219/.265 in 146 plate appearances with the Tigers before suffering the severe hamstring injury while running the bases.
Third baseman Jeimer Candelario was placed on the injured list this week. Through 42 games with the Tigers in 2019, Candelario is hitting just .179 with only 9 RBI. This stint on the IL comes just a few games after Candelario was promoted back up to the Tigers’ big league roster after a nearly two-week stay in Triple-A Toledo.
Former two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera has been diagnosed with a chronic knee condition, one that will be with him for the remainder of his career. As a result, Cabrera will be moved off of first base to contribute exclusively as a designated hitter. Cabrera went 3-for-4 with a grand slam and five RBI to propel the Tigers to a 9-6 win over the Rays on Tuesday in his first game since last Friday due to the problem.
Tigers lefty Daniel Norris (2-4) took the loss Saturday against the Braves by allowing six runs (five earned) across 5.1 innings. He struck out four and walked two. Norris kept Atlanta off the board for the first three frames but then allowed two runs in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. The 26-year-old will carry a 4.58 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 42:15 K:BB into Thursday’s start versus the Rays.
Norris has been throwing the kitchen sink lately and worrying less about fastball velocity, a big reason why he has become reliable. He’s also throwing those pitches for strikes, which will be key against a Rays lineup that ranks high in OBP.
- Runs: 3.57
- Hits: 7.78
- Walks: 2.78
- Strike Outs: 9.95
- Runs: 5.24
- Hits: 8.83
- Walks: 3.31
- Strike Outs: 8.02
Rays vs Tigers MLB Betting Trends
- Rays are 13-6 in their last 19 games vs. a left-handed starter.
- Rays are 2-8 in their last 10 during game 3 of a series.
- Tigers are 1-4 in Norris’ last 5 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- Tigers are 1-6 in Norris’ last 7 home starts.
- Tigers are 0-4 in Norris’ last 4 starts with 4 days of rest.
Expert MLB Prediction for Rays vs Tigers
Rays 6, Tigers 4