Cleveland Indians vs. Tampa Bay Rays Preview: Betting Odds, Predictions

Cleveland Indians vs. Tampa Bay Rays Preview: Betting Odds, Predictions

Barry Devoe
3 years ago
3 min read
Cleveland Indians vs. Tampa Bay Rays Preview: Betting Odds, Predictions

Two second-place teams in the American League will square off this weekend as the Tampa Bay Rays (57-39) take on the Cleveland Indians (48-45) in a four-game series. The Indians will host this series at Progressive Stadium starting on Thursday.

The Rays are coming in after taking two of three from the Baltimore Orioles to start the week. After losing 6-1 on Monday, the Rays bounced back with two straight wins, including a 5-4 victory Wednesday. They now sit in second place in the AL East, a game back of the Boston Red Sox.

Cleveland lost two of three to start the week against the Houston Astros, but they did manage to salvage the finale on Wednesday, 5-4. While they are still in second in the AL Central, they sit 8.5 games back of the Chicago White Sox. That is the largest deficit of any second-place team in the majors.


The schedule for the four-game series at Progressive Field is as follows:

  • Thursday, July 22 - 7:10 pm ET
  • Friday, July 23 - 7:10 pm ET
  • Saturday, July 24 - 7:10 pm ET
  • Sunday, July 25 - 1:10 pm ET

Pitching Matchup

Here is the pitching matchup for each game of the series:

  • Thursday: Luis Patino (1-2, 4.87 ERA) vs. Cal Quantrill (2-2, 4.05 ERA)
  • Friday: TBD vs. Zach Plesac (5-3, 4.19 ERA)
  • Saturday: TBD vs. J.C. Mejia (1-5, 7.53 ERA)
  • Sunday: TBD vs. Triston McKenzie (1-4, 5.91 ERA)

Looking At Odds

Just a single game back in the division, the Rays are currently +140 to win the AL East. They are +1500 to win the World Series this year.

The Indians have much worse odds to win the AL Central as they are +1200 to overtake the White Sox. Cleveland is +6000 to win it all this year.

By The Number

Tampa Bay has been really solid on offense this season, ranking seventh in scoring, averaging 4.88 runs per game. They rank 10th in scoring defense allowing opponents 4.04 runs per game.

Cleveland comes in at 17th in scoring averaging 4.30 runs per game. They also rank 17th in scoring defense, allowing 4.53 runs per game.

Tampa Bay Looks To Keep Pace In East

The East is going to be one of the most fascinating divisions to watch in the American League down the stretch. Not only do you have the Red Sox and Rays separated by just a game, but the Yankees and Blue Jays are lurking behind.

With every game crucial, the Rays will hope to build off of a really strong road record (27-21) and win the series in Cleveland.

Leading the way for the Rays is second baseman Brandon Lowe. Despite hitting just .214/.330/.461, he leads the team with 21 home runs. He also has 48 runs battered in and 51 runs scored.

Mike Zunino (19), Austin Meadows (16), and Randy Arozarena (13) have also been getting it done on the home run front.

Indians Hope To Make Up Ground In Central

While the Cleveland Indians have not played atrociously this season, they are facing an uphill battle as the Chicago White Sox have been one of the best in the majors. Still, just 8.5 games behind, the Indians hope to put a winning streak together and make a run at the division.

To do so, they will need to get some stronger production from their starting pitching staff. Yes, they are missing Shane Bieber and Aaron Civale, but the starting pitching has to give the offense a chance and go deeper in games to preserve the bullpen.

Offensively, the team has been led by third baseman Jose Ramirez. He is currently hitting .254/.341/.505 with a team-leading 19 home runs, 52 runs batted in, and 62 runs scored.

Bradley Zimmer has been one of the Indians’ hottest hitters over the last week. In that span, he is hitting .320/.346/.600 with a couple of home runs and four runs batted in.

Indians Approaching Tough Decisions

Despite being in second place, chances of catching up to Chicago seem to grow more faint by the day. If they don’t get on some sort of roll over the next week, Cleveland could be an interesting team at the trade deadline.

Unfortunately, they face an uphill battle. Their starting pitching has been decimated by injuries, and their lineup has struggled to get consistent production throughout.

If they hope to make a run at the division, it won’t be easy as they welcome in the Rays. At this point, they just have to focus on one game at a time and hope they can manage a series win.

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