Cleveland Guardians vs. Tampa Bay Rays July 29 Betting Preview
Friday begins an American League battle of Central versus West as the Cleveland Guardians (50-48) square off with the Tampa Bay Rays (53-46) in the first of a three-game series. This game will be played at Tropicana Field with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.
The Guardians split their last series against Boston, but they dropped the finale 4-2. In the loss, Triston McKenzie went seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits while striking out six.
Offensively, Jose Ramirez hit his 20th home run of the season, but the Guardians could only manage four other hits. They will look to get back on track Friday.
For Tampa Bay, they have lost six of their last 10 games. In their last series, they dropped three of four to the Baltimore Orioles including a 3-0 loss on Thursday
Unfortunately for Rays’ fans, they just couldn’t get anything going offensively. They only managed four hits while leaving 16 stranded on base.
Guardians vs. Rays July 29 Betting Odds
The Rays are the slight favorites in this one, but it is pretty close to a pick’em game. The Rays are -112 to win while the Guardians’ moneyline sits at -104. The runline features Tampa Bay +1.5 (-188), and the over/under for total runs is just 6.5.
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Cleveland will turn to ace Shane Bieber to try to take the opener. In 18 games, he is 4-6 with a 3.55 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and he has 110 strikeouts in 111.2 innings. He was roughed up in his last start, going six innings and allowing six runs in a loss to the White Sox.
Tampa Bay will counter with lefty Jeffrey Springs. The 29-year-old is 3-2 in 20 games with a 2.50 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and has 72 strikeouts in 68.1 innings.
Guardians Trying To Stay Afloat In AL Central
At 50-48, the Guardians have put themselves in contention in the AL Central. Only two games back of the Minnesota Twins, the Guardians will try to stay afloat in the standings as they take on one of the AL East’s best.
All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez continues to lead the Guardians’ offense. In 357 at bats, he is hitting .286/.362/.566 with a team-leading 20 home runs, 80 runs batted in, 56 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases.
Only a few batters for Cleveland have seen the Rays’ Jeffrey Springs. In a combined five at bats, Cleveland hitters have two hits, one apiece by Franmil Reyes and Amed Rosario.
Tampa Bay Trying To Create Separation In The Wild Card
If the season ended today, the Tampa Bay Rays would get into the postseason as the third Wild Card team. Right behind them in the standings is Cleveland, who sits just 2.5 games back. Not only do the Rays want to pick up another win Friday, but they also want to create separation in the Wild Card standings.
In their own division, they have some work to do. Despite being 53-46, they sit in third in the division, 13 games back of the New York Yankees.
Offensively, Isaac Paredes leads the Rays in the power department. Despite having just 183 at bats, he is hitting .219/.294/.486 with a team-leading 14 home runs.
Against Shane Bieber, Ji-Man Choi has had the most success as he is four for 10 against the righty. No Rays’ hitter has a home run or run batted in against him, though.
Cleveland In A Good Spot To Take First Game
Especially with the Rays struggling a bit and Bieber on the mound, it is a bit of a surprise to see the Guardians come in as the underdogs. As such, they have a good shot to take the first game on the road, where they are 25-29 this season.
Granted, the Rays are no slouch despite their rough stretch, and the Guardians’ bats will have to work against Springs. Still, coming off of a series split against Boston, the Guardians should have a good shot at taking this first game.
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