It’s a battle between Goliath and Goliath on Friday in Florida when the Texas Rangers head East to take on the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay enters with the best record in baseball and holds a four-game lead over the Rangers. Needless to say, this series will go a long way in determining the best team in baseball.
The MLB odds list the Rays as home favorites on the moneyline with a betting total of 8½ runs.
Rangers Most Profitable ATS Team in League
The Texas Rangers continue to put their money spent during the offseason to good use and rank second in overall record behind the Rays.
But, regarding MLB betting, the Rangers lead the league with a record of 40-21 against the spread (ATS).
The bad news is that the Rangers have been ice cold against Tampa Bay with a 1-4 record in their last five matchups. Despite this, the Rangers are a different beast in 2023 and a very tempting MLB bet as underdogs on the moneyline.
Rays Remain Best Team in Baseball
The Tampa Bay Rays continue to play the best baseball in the MLB, with a .708 winning percentage and a 7-3 record in their previous 10 games. With a six-game winning streak on the line, the Rays are motivated and full of confidence.
Tampa Bay also holds the second-best ATS record in the MLB when playing on their home turf at 21-14.
While the Rays are red-hot against Texas in recent action, the Rangers are 4-3 on the MLB spreads in the last seven clashes.
Andrew Heaney (4-3, 4.03 ERA) vs. Tyler Glasnow (0-0, 3.72)
Andrew Heaney looks to bounce back after a heinous start on Saturday in which he allowed three runs in three innings against the Seattle Mariners. The Rangers won 16-6, but Heaney didn’t factor in. He struck out five and walked four.
In limited action, the Rays hit just .059 against Heaney with six strikeouts and one walk.
Conversely, Tyler Glasnow looked great in his previous start after allowing just one run against the Boston Red Sox in 5⅓ innings of work. The start was a welcome sight after Glasnow debuted the week prior with a short and shaky game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He has to be careful with the Rangers lineup, which has a .353 batting average against him. Marcus Semien has been a major issue after hitting two home runs against Glasnow in six career at-bats.
Rangers vs Rays Head-to Head
The Rays have won four of the last five games against the Rangers and three of the last four against the spread. Tampa Bay was favored on the MLB lines in each of those matchups. However, we must consider that the Rangers are far from the same team that the Rays beat up late last season. Previous season’s stats are sometimes helpful, often overused, and in this case, risky to put too much faith in.
Rangers vs Rays Game Information
- Game: Rangers (40-21) vs Rays (46-19)
- Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
- Day/Time: Friday, June 9, 6:40 p.m. ET
- Rangers vs Rays Live stream: MLB.tv
Rangers vs Rays Betting Lines
Nothing against either pitcher, but I expect this game to soar over the total as both lineups will be amped up to face off against each other. The season’s first meeting between the league’s number one and two teams will be an electric event, and the bats will show up. The over in this series debut is one of my favorite MLB picks for Friday.
Pick: Over 8½ (-110)
I think the oddsmakers are bonkers for listing the Rays as such heavy favorites in this matchup. The Rangers are just as dangerous at the plate and arguably have the advantage on the mound, with Heaney making the start. Take them to win outright with such generous underdog odds.
Pick: Rangers +145