Cleveland Guardians vs. Tampa Bay Rays July 31 Betting Preview
After splitting the first two games of the series, the Cleveland Guardians (51-49) and Tampa Bay Rays (54-47) will square off in the rubber match of their three-game series. The Rays will host this one at Tropicana Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:40 p.m.
After losing 4-1 in the opener, the Rays bounced back with a 6-4 win on Saturday. In the win, Corey Kluber went six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out 10.
Offensively, the Rays hammered out ten hits, including home runs by both Brandon Lowe and Yandy Diaz. Both of those two also had two runs batted in apiece.
Andres Gimenez hit his 12th home run of the season and drove in three runs batted in. Jose Ramirez also added two hits with two runs scored.
Guardians July 31 Betting Odds
The Rays are overwhelming favorites playing at home Sunday. They are -235 to win while the Guardians’ moneyline sits at +194. The runline features Cleveland +1.5 (-114), and the over/under for total runs is 6.5.
The Guardians will go the opener route on Sunday as reliever Bryan Shaw will start the game. In 40 games this season, he is 4-2 with a 5.45 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, and he has 30 strikeouts in 36.1 innings. While Shaw might last a couple of innings, it will be a bullpen game after that.
Tampa Bay will counter with 25-year-old lefty Shane McClanahan. In 19 games, he is 10-3 with a 1.76 ERA and 0.77 WHIP, and he has 154 strikeouts in just 117.2 innings.
Guardians Trying To Improve On The Road
At 51-49, the Guardians sit in second in the AL Central, two games behind the Minnesota Twins. If the Guardians want to compete in the division, though, they will need to improve their play on the road. While they are 25-19 at home, they are just 26-30 on the road.
This will be the first time that any Guardians’ hitter has squared off with the Rays McClanahan. Against lefties in general, Jose Ramirez and Andres Gimenez have been their best hitters.
Against southpaws, Ramirez is hitting .244/.327/.467 with four home runs and 15 runs batted in. Gimenez is hitting .295/.348/.459 against lefties with two home runs and six runs batted in.
Rays Try To Win Series With Cy Young Hopeful On The Bump
At 54-47, the Rays have a great team despite sitting third in the AL East, 14.5 games behind the Yankees. They currently sit in the third Wild Card spot, 2.5 games ahead of the Guardians.
When Shane McClanahan is on the mound, the team is almost unbeatable. McClanahan has been dominant this season and is currently the favorite to win the AL Cy Young Award at +155.
On the offensive side, keep an eye on Yandy Diaz in this one. While he only has three at bats against Shaw, he has a hit in all three at bats, including a solo home run.
Guardians Could Have Rough Time Winning Series
Obviously, the Guardians would love to finish a series win on Sunday, but it won’t be easy for them. Not only do they have to contend with a Cy Young candidate, but Cleveland is just 2-12 in their last 14 games against Tampa Bay.
Furthermore, the Guardians have struggled on the road lately, winning just six of their last 18 road games.
Certainly, if the Guardians can figure out how to scratch a few runs across against McClanahan, they have a shot. However, that is something that few teams have been able to do to this point.
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