Those who took the Texas Rangers or the under or both had a nice day at the sportsbook on Tuesday as they rolled to a 4-0 win in Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Rays. The favored Rays will remain the popular pick in Game 2 of the American League wild-card series, but they’ve been ice cold at the plate in recent playoff chances. Factor that into your MLB prop bets for Oct. 4.
If you still like the Rays, you can jump on them at +900 to win the American League pennant, but they looked sloppy and unprepared in their home park in Game 1. Texas, meanwhile, by virtue of its solid effort on Tuesday has bumped up to +500 on that sheet. We have loads of MLB prop bets lined up for you. Let’s take a look at the pitching matchup, and then offer up a wagering suggestion or two.
Nathan Eovaldi (12-5, 3.63 ERA) vs Zach Eflin (16-8, 3.50)
Eovaldi, a former Ray, is coming off another All-Star campaign in which he held opponents to a career-low .225 average. Two of his 12 wins came against the Rays, including one on July 18 in which he tossed six scoreless innings.
That gives us a good reason to place an MLB bet in support of Eovaldi. Another is the fact that he seems to love the October spotlight. He owns a 2.72 ERA in six postseason starts, and that doesn’t include a memorable six-inning relief stint in Game 3 of the 2018 World Series (which came after scoreless relief outings in Games 1 and 2).
As for Eflin, he tied for the AL lead in wins this year in his first campaign with the Rays. The 29-year-old has also done well in October with a 3.38 ERA, but all 10 of his previous playoff appearances have been in relief. This will be his first career start in the postseason, a potential factor if you’re making a bet online.
Eflin has been exceptional at home this year, going 11-4 with a 3.30 ERA in 18 starts. In 103 ⅔ innings at Tropicana Field, the righty has 120 strikeouts against only 14 walks. That trend will be tested against a Rangers unit that compiled nine hits and six walks in Game 1.
MLB Pick: Rangers ML (+135)
Corey Seager to hit a home run (+250)
In addition to an RBI single and a walk in Game 1, Seager had a double to center field that was inches from going out of the park. He has nine homers in his last 26 playoff games, and we think there’s a chance for another in this one.
In eight career plate appearances against Eflin, Seager has a home run, a double, a single and a walk. He sees this right-hander extremely well, and we think you can do worse than banking on one of the game’s best to get into one Wednesday afternoon.
If you need anything else, there’s this: Seager is a .341 hitter with six extra-base hits in 11 career games at Tropicana Field. Oh, and he’s up to .417 in seven career playoff games versus the Rays.
Rangers vs Rays Betting Lines
Under 16½ hits total (-105)
The Rays, who have lost six straight playoff games, have offered up nothing at the plate the last two Octobers. In three postseason games between 2022 and 2023, they have one run on 18 hits in their last 33 innings spread over three games (one that went 15).
Take that trend and mix in Eovaldi’s solid October resume and you have the recipe for another weak performance. And if Eflin is on his game, this could be an easy payday.
Rangers vs Rays Game Information
- Game: Rangers vs Rays
- Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.
- Date: Oct. 4, 3 p.m. ET,13:08
- Rangers vs Rays Live Stream: MLB.tv