5 Dimes Sportsbook lists the Rays as a heavy -177 betting favorite and the total for the game is 8.5 runs.
Although Tampa Bay deserves to be the favorites in this matchup, starter Jake Odorizzi is 1-2 with a 5.63 earned run average and has very little experience at the major league level.
This game is close to a coin flip. Are the Twins the way to go with the odds so one-sided in favor of Tampa Bay?
A Lineup With Potential?
Surprisingly for Minnesota, leadoff hitter, Brian Dozier, has swung a heavy stick as he has 6 home runs and 9 runs batted in on the season. Even though both he and Joe Mauer (.256) haven’t hit for average, this is somewhat of a scary 1-2 punch for an opposing pitcher to look at.
After Dozier and Mauer, you have the meat of the order in Trevor Plouffe (1 HR, 13 RBI, .310 BA), Chris Colabello (2 HR, 22 RBI, .347 BA), and Jason Kubel (1 HR, 11 RBI, .394 OBP%). All of these hitters are producing.
Now, it’s just a matter of Minnesota getting their pitching staff in order and tonight their offense will need to be out in full force as Mike Pelfrey (0-2, 7.98 ERA) takes the rubber.
Pelfrey was a hot pitching prospect with the Mets but it never panned out in New York as he’s a career 55-69 and this season hasn’t helped his cause. There’s no reason for guys like Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist to fear Pelfrey as the right-hander is just a warm arm for Minnesota to send out there as their offense attempts to win tonight’s game.
Time To Sting Minny
When looking at the Rays deep starting lineup, one thing comes across very quickly; they find ways to get on base. The Rays feature 5 players with a .384 OBP% or better, led by Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria.
Longoria is the clear cut star of this team, but Joyce is putting together a fine season, leading the Rays with a .347 bating average to go along with his 2 home runs and 10 runs batted in. Joyce has excelled at Tropicana Field as he’s hitting .400 in 30 at-bats at the Trop to go along with 4 doubles, 9 runs, 1 home run and 8 runs batted in.
This Rays lineup can be scary when they get on a roll. This is a team that lacks speed, but can light up the scoreboard and against Pelfrey, this won’t be a difficult thing to do.
I’m not in love with the betting odds for this game, but 8.5 runs seem reasonable for our MLB picks when considering the over with these two tomato cans taking the mound.
Let’s stay away from “extreme odds” in this game as both teams are inconsistent and expect a considerable amount of offense.
MLB Pick: Tampa Bay/Minnesota Over 8.5 at 5 Dimes