MLB Picks: Chen & the Orioles vs. Archer & the Rays

Darin Zank

Monday, September 23, 2013 1:15 PM GMT

Monday, Sep. 23, 2013 1:15 PM GMT

The Rays shoot for the sweep of their four-game series against Baltimore when both teams meet for a getaway game Monday afternoon in St. Pete, at 3:10 p.m. ET.

Check out today's Daily Baseball Odds & Betting Lines Report for an early edge in Monday's games!

Tampa Bay has won the first three games of a series with Baltimore, solidifying its place in the American League wild-card race. Where might the smart sports betting money go on Monday's game?

Monday's Betting Line

As of Monday morning. most baseball books were listing Tampa and Chris Archer at around -150 over Baltimore and Wei-Yin Chen, with a total of 7.5.

The Rays could also be bet at around +140 on the run line in the MLB odds.

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 Monday's Game Four Set-Up

Tampa took Game 1 of this series Friday night 5-4 in 18 innings, then took Game 2 Saturday 5-1, then won Sunday 3-1.

So Tampa has won eight of its last 11 games, and now leads the American League wild-card race by a half-game over second-place Cleveland and two games over third-place Texas.

Baltimore, meanwhile, has lost its last four games and eight of its last 12, dropping to 4.5 games back of the Indians in the battle for that second wild-card spot.

Tampa Bay leads this season series 12 games to six, with the totals going 7-7-2.

Monday's Pitching Match-Up

Archer (9-7, 3.02) is 12-for-21 on quality starts this season, and two for his last two. Most recently he held Texas to two runs through six innings, and just before that he held Minnesota scoreless on three hits through six innings.

Over his last seven starts Archer has allowed more than two earned runs just once.

On the season, which for Archer started in June, he's given up 97 hits in 122 innings, walked 35 and struck out 90.

Tampa has won 13 of Archer's 21 starts this year. In his one start this season against Baltimore Archer gave up just one run and two hits through seven innings of a 2-1 Rays win back in June.

Lefty Chen (7-7, 4.03) is 10-for-21 on quality starts this year, but just one for his last five. Last time out he gave up three runs and 11 hits through 5 2/3 innings against Boston, and over his last five starts he's allowed 21 ER through 25 2/3 innings.

For the season, Chen has given up 127 hits in 127 innings, walked 36 and struck out 95.

Baltimore is 11-10 in Chen's starts this year. In his two starts this year against Tampa Chen has allowed four ER and 13 hits through 12 2/3 innings; the Orioles split those two games.

The ‘Over’/’Under’ is a combined 12-29 in Chen and Archer's starts this season.

O's-Rays Betting Trends

  • Baltimore is 39-41 on the road this season.
  • Tampa is 50-30 at home this year.
  • The ‘Over’/’Under’ is 37-39 in games played at the Tropicana this season.

Injury Update

Rays IF Evan Longoria did not start Sunday because of flu symptoms, and is questionable for Monday's game. Also, Tampa OF Desmond Jennings tweaked a hamstring Sunday, and is doubtful for Monday. So bettors might want to check the line-up card before making their sports picks on today's game.

Our Take on Monday's Game

We had some good luck with Chen earlier this year, but we have to give Archer the edge in the pitching match-up. However, we're a little leery of taking Tampa today, because of the possibility it might be without a couple of regulars in the line-up. So instead of going with a side for our free Monday MLB picks, we'll instead look at the total, and go with the ‘Under’.

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MLB Pick: Bet the Orioles/Rays game UNDER 7.5 (-120) offered at William Hill

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