Expert Capper Leans For Rays In Game 1 Against Diamondbacks

Joe Gavazzi

Monday, June 6, 2016 2:00 PM GMT

The Rays invade Chase Field for a 3-game with the D’Backs which will conclude the Rays’ 10-game road trip. Check this betting preview before placing your MLB Picks on the game.

Tampa Bay has not had much success vs. Arizona, as the D’Backs have won 7 of 9 against the Rays of late, including 4 recent meetings on this field.

Key to our Tampa Bay winner in this selection is two-fold. First, my OPS model flashed a BUY sign on the Rays at the beginning of June. I immediately jumped on them for 3 consecutive Top Play weekend winners against the lowly Twins. We will continue to ride that train against an Arizona team, whose 9-20 home record is better only than that of the 6-23 home record of the 16-40 Atlanta Braves.

When the calendar turned from May to June, I did my annual appraisal of OPS numbers vis a visthe records of each team. The American League team that stood out as the biggest underachiever was these Tampa Bay Rays. They had OPS numbers that were in the Top 12 in each overall pitching, and batting. Yet, they were mired under .500 (in last place) in the AL East. Though they still remain in last place and their 25-30 record is 3rd worst in the AL, there is huge upside for the Rays. They flash that potential by sweeping the final 3 games of their weekend set at Minnesota (all Top Play winners for us). The offensive onslaught was led by Morrison and Longoria, who have clouted 9 of 11 of the Rays’ recent homers.

Arizona returns from a 2-3 road swing, in which they beat Houston and the Cubs (Arrieta) on Sunday. Playing at home, however, has been a major issue for this team. Last week, they began with a pair of games against Houston which saw them drop decisions of 8-3 and 8-5. It will be no surprise if they drop tonight’s contest against the resurgent Rays. We must rely on the team concept for this victory, as there is little in the way of support to back either starting pitcher.

For the Arizona D’Backs, Ray is 2-4 with a 4.74 ERA. In last week’s start vs. Houston, he allowed 3 runs in 5 IP. Ray has been one of the reasons why the D’Backs have struggled at home. In his home starts from this mound, Ray has a 6.93 ERA and .321 BAA.

The numbers for tonight’s Tampa Bay starter, Archer, are eerily similar. Remember, this is a pitcher that was considered to be among the Top 10 in the AL to start the season. The results have been totally dichotomous to that expectation. For the season, Archer is 3-7 with a 4.75 ERA. He comes off a start in which he allowed 5 runs in 6 IP in a 6-3 loss to KC. And although he has pitched solid baseball at the Trop, his road performance has been abysmal. In 7 road starts, Archer has a 7.13 ERA and .322 BA.

As you can see, there is little to choose from between either starting pitcher. But the fact the D’Backs have struggled to only 9 wins on this field and that the Tampa Bay Rays are at the top of my MLB Picks list for a return to the .500 level, we are offered a solid situation at a value price as offered on the MLB Odds.

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Free MLB Pick:  Rays -112
Best Line Offered:  at Bookmaker