Both Shane’s pitched a gem last night. Both made just one bad pitch. But the bad pitch McClanahan made was one run more costly than the one Bieber made.
Jose Ramirez came through for the Guardians once again, hitting a two-run bomb in the sixth inning to take the lead that his bullpen wouldn’t surrender. That contract extension he signed earlier this season is already paying huge dividends.
The Rays find themselves with their backs against the wall, but they’re one of the scrappiest teams in baseball. Plus, Tyler Glasnow takes the mound for his first big start in a Postseason elimination game.
Will the Guardians shut down the Rays at home and set up a date with New York? Or will Tampa force a win-or-go-home Game 3?
Let’s dig in. Read on for our Tampa Bay Rays vs Cleveland Guardians starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions.
Tampa Bay Rays vs Cleveland Guardians Odds
The Guardians opened as slight, -120 favorites but the line is starting to come down. I doubt the Guardians close at that number with Triston McKenzie on the mound, who is a little erratic for my play.
The total opened at 6.5 at PointsBet but it looks like the number is going to come down quickly. I’d look straight towards the under.
Tampa Bay Rays Starting Lineup
3B Y. Diaz R
SS W. Franco S
1B H. Ramirez R
DH R. Arozarena R
LF D. Peralta L
RF M. Margot R
C C. Bethancourt R
CF J. Siri R
2B T. Walls S
Tampa Bay Rays vs Triston McKenzie
There’s no doubt McKenzie is a special young talent. It’s amazing he was finally able to produce the full workload of a top-end starter (191 innings).
But McKenzie is anything but consistent. He’s been that way his entire career. McKenzie put together a 6.44 ERA in June and followed it up with a 1.34 ERA in July. it usually comes down to walks and home runs.
He looks to be on a good streak. McKenzie has a 2.09 ERA since September 1st, and he was a very important part of the Guardians’ late-season run to the division title. And if Cleveland wins this game, he’ll be an important part of that, too.
McKenzie won’t try to fool you. He has a basic three-pitch mix, likes to get ahead in counts, and pounds the upper third of the strike zone. When things are working, he forces plenty of pop-ups and strikeouts.
Every Triston McKenzie strikeout tonight
A career high 14! pic.twitter.com/DP91ua28ML
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) August 20, 2022
When things aren’t, they can get ugly in a hurry.
Hopefully, McKenzie stays smart against this Rays lineup. The Rays are scrappy, walk a lot, and find runs in the least likely ways.
But the Rays also strike out a lot and have the fifth-highest pop-up rate in baseball.
This matchup truly could go either way.
Triston has pitched well against Tampa in the past, however. He’s forced a 30% Whiff rate in 45 plate appearances against current Rays hitters. Nobody has had much success. McKenzie has allowed three runs in 12 innings since the beginning of last year with 12 strikeouts and no walks.
It seems the matchup has gone one way. Can McKenzie keep it up?
Cleveland Guardians Starting Lineup
LF S. Kwan L
SS A. Rosario R
3B J. Ramirez S
1B J. Naylor L
DH O. Gonzalez R
2B A. Gimenez L
RF W. Brennan L
C A. Hedges R
CF M. Straw R
Cleveland Guardians vs Tyler Glasnow
This is going to be fascinating.
When he’s on, Glasnow is one of the best pitchers in the American League. He had a 2.66 ERA and a .93 WHIP last season with a 36% strikeout rate and an 8% walk rate. He’s gone through some of the more dominant stretches I’ve seen.
But Glasnow is often hurt. He had Tommy John last season and has never tossed more than 111 innings in a season.
The Rays brought Glasnow up for two starts this season, throwing 6 ⅔ innings between them. He struck out 10 while walking two and allowed just one run (to the Guardians of all teams).
So, perhaps he’s feeling himself. However, Glasnow is a bit nefarious for his postseason failures. He has a career 6.56 postseason ERA. The Rays have lost three straight Glasnow starts in the postseason and he allowed 14 runs between the three.
So, this is a very precarious spot for Glasnow. He’s working his way back from Tommy John and is walking into an environment he’s struggled in. It’s very scary.
Glasnow still has a fastball. He’s throwing it faster than he did before Tommy John. His slider looks a little shakier but we need to see more before we can decide one way or the other.
But Glasnow’s curveball looks gorgeous. He’s only thrown 21 this season but it’s got some nasty 12-6 movement.
Tyler Glasnow, Hammers. ⚒️ pic.twitter.com/JeHwJdJQMc
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 3, 2022
The Guardians will test him. Cleveland doesn’t hit the ball hard but they make more contact than anyone in the league. They only strike out 18.2% of the time.
The Guardians will slap any ball around. The question is if Glasnow’s stuff is ready to beat bats.
Whatever Glasnow does, he needs to watch out for Jose Ramirez. He’s the most dangerous hitter in the Guardian lineup and singlehandedly won Cleveland Game 1. Don’t hang a breaking ball, because he’s posted a +17 combined Run Value on changeups, sliders, and curveballs this season.
José Ramírez responds with some power of his own! pic.twitter.com/4SFcQrbZx2
— MLB (@MLB) October 7, 2022
Tampa Bay Rays vs Cleveland Guardians Pick & Prediction
My picks: Tampa Bay Rays ML (+100 at WynnBet Sportsbook) |
You can go either way with this game. Both pitchers are talented and have matchup advantages, but both also question marks.
Both lineups have impact players that can win or lose their team the game.
In the end, I’m just going to take the value with the underdog. I’d also be very surprised if this game didn’t go three.