Home Team to Feast on Visitors: Pirates vs. Bay Rays

Jeff Grant

Monday, June 23, 2014 12:37 PM GMT

Monday, Jun. 23, 2014 12:37 PM GMT

The Tampa Bay Rays have feasted on losing teams when playing at home in the Sunshine State, which will lead to a series-opening victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday night. Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting lines for this interleague matchup.

A Good Chance to Start Over
Pittsburgh is aiming for a .500 record for just the second time since April 17, as it comes off a pair of victories over the Chicago Cubs, including a 2-1 win as +106 road underdogs Sunday. The Pirates have won five of nine all-time meetings against the Rays, which includes taking two of three in their lone visit to this ballpark in 2003.

MLB handicappers will find that the franchise is 0-4 as road underdogs of +125 to +150 this season, with the 'under' going 3-1 in that situation.


Mediocre at Best
Tampa Bay has won four of seven games on its current homestand, including a 5-2 victory over the Houston Astros as -128 favorites Sunday, while going under the betting total for the fourth time in five contests. The Rays are averaging an AL-low 3.67 runs per game this season, which has led to their worst record (31-46) through 77 games during the Joe Maddon era.

It’s important to point out that the squad is a mediocre 11-11 as home favorites of -125 to -175 during the 2014 campaign.


Volquez
Pirates starting pitcher Edinson Volquez (4-6, 4.67 ERA) has watched the club alternated wins and losses over his last nine outings, as he looks to bounce back from a 11-4 setback at home to the Cincinnati Reds—allowing eight runs and six hits over 2.1 innings. The right-hander is 1-2 with a 5.08 ERA in five road games, as he’s served up eight home runs in just 28.1 combined frames. Volquez has registered a forgettable 0-2 record and 8.74 ERA in two interleague starts this season.


Cobb
Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (2-5, 3.48 ERA) was handed a 2-0 home loss to the Baltimore Orioles last week, as he allowed just a single run (zero earned) and four hits over seven strong innings of work. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 3.30 ERA in five home efforts, with opposing hitters batting .219 against him. In eight lifetime starts in interleague play, Cobb has compiled a 5-2 record and 3.16 ERA.


Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Rays as one of their MLB picks, as they’ve captured 10 of their last 11 home games versus NL opponents with a losing record. 

Free MLB Pick: Tampa Bay Rays 

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