Can Tigers Challenge Rays Again?
The Detroit Tigers enter Monday’s series opener coming off their most complete series of the season with solid hitting, great pitching and defense. Now they get a Tampa Bay Rays team that is chasing the New York Yankees in the American League East. The Tigers took the season series from last year.
But a macro look at the season heavily favors the Rays, especially if they can start pushing additional runs across. Then again, it was mid-May when the Tigers turned their season around last year.
Tigers Looks to Continue Winning Ways
The Detroit Tigers are coming off a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles, but prior to that, the Tigers were in a 6-17 stretch. They are 10-24-1 against the over and are 4-10 in away games. Expect MLB picks to go under on their totals.
Detroit had scored 12 runs in its previous seven games, including three shutouts, before scoring 12 in the sweep of Baltimore. The highest of those games was a 6-0 win in Oakland, its only win against the A’s in a five-game series.
The offense is last, scoring 2.95 runs per game and is 25th in average and 29th in OPS. Flip to defense, and the Tigers have been fine, allowing 3.92 runs per game, which is ninth.
Rays can Build Staff Confidence
The Tampa Bay Rays allow 4.23 runs per game, 17th in the league. They recently returned home from a largely successful West Coast trip but allowed 23 runs in two games to close it out.
Entrusting former Cy Young winner Corey Kluber in the seriesopener is no easy task. The Detroit Tigers are 6-5 in series openers. Though the Rays are 3-3 when Kluber starts, it’s a good matchup for him.
The pitching staff will need to perform better as the Tigers have been better at limiting base runners and big hits.
Ranking seventh in average and 10th in OPS, the Tampa Bay offense has done a good job of getting in scoring position, but hasn’t been able to get timely hits to scratch runs across.
Tigers vs Rays Head-to-Head
The Detroit Tigers took four of seven from the Tampa Bay Rays last year.
The Tigers were underdogs in each contest, too. Detroit won two of a three-game set at home and split in St. Petersburg. The over was 3-3-1 in those contests. With both teams having good weekends, MLB lines may be surprising.
The under is 7-2 in the last nine meetings at Tropicana Field and the Tigers are 3-10 when visiting the Rays.
Tigers vs Rays Game Information
- Game: Tigers (12-23) vs Rays (21-14)
- Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg
- Day/Time: Monday, May 16, 6:40 p.m. ET
- Tigers vs Rays Live stream: MLB.tv
Tigers vs Rays Betting Lines
|Team||Run line||Moneyline||Total||Team Total|
A. Faedo -R
|+1½ -125||+170||7½ Evo||3½ +120o
|Tampa Bay Rays
C. Kluber -R
|-1½ +105||-200||7½ -120u||4½ Evo
Tigers vs Rays Prediction
Looking at scores and odds, this game has strength versus strength in some areas. Wander Franco and Manuel Margot have been solid so far for the Tampa Bay Rays, but they need some help from Randy Arozarena and Ji-Man Choi, among others.
They will get their chances against Alex Faedo, a promising rookie who is from Tampa. He has allowed four earned runs over 10 innings but was exceptional in his last start, allowing four hits and striking out seven.
People at the sportsbook have bet the Rays 81 percent of the time and the over at a 53 percent rate. Detroit’s offense thrived in its last series, but we have enough sample size to see it isn’t very good.
Until they can get Austin Meadows and Victor Reyes back, it’s hard to see them sustaining that attack for very long. Their best hope is a low-scoring game.
We’ll side with the Rays; for an extra bonus. Take them -1½ (+105).