The Rays and the Tigers close out their weekend series on Sunday afternoon. The Rays are the betting favorites with -192 moneyline odds, while the Tigers’ odds are at +160. The over/under is set at 8 runs with -105 odds on the over and -115 odds on the under. The prediction here is that the Rays win and the under hits.
Rays vs. Tigers Prediction
Starting pitchers: RHP Tyler Glasnow (5-3, 3.15 ERA) vs. RHP Matt Manning (3-3, 4.53 ERA)
One of the lone bright spots for the Rays in July was Tyler Glasnow. In a month where the team went 8-16 and fell out of 1st place in the AL East, Glasnow secured 3 of their 8 wins and logged a 2.11 ERA and 0.89 WHIP over 6 starts (38-1/3 innings), earning him AL Pitcher of the Month honors.
Tyler Glasnow: 3-2, 2.11 ERA, 38.1 IP, 51 K, .186 BAA, 0.89 WHIP
Corbin Burnes: 4-1, 1.85 ERA, 39 IP, 47 K, .115 BAA, 0.72 WHIP
Your AL and NL Pitchers of the Month for July! pic.twitter.com/ZFwOhGOBOo
— MLB (@MLB) August 2, 2023
The Rays need Glasnow to carry over that performance into August as they try to chase down the Orioles for the division crown. The 29-year-old righty should have every opportunity to do that against this Tigers lineup that is 29th in runs scored this season and 28th in wRC+.
Detroit is also arguably the weakest team in the majors against right-handed pitching. They are last in OPS against righties (.653) and tied for last in wRC+ (82).
For his career, Glasnow has been equally effective against righties and lefties, but his platoon splits in 2023 are much stronger against righties. He is allowing a .148 average and .448 OPS against righties compared to marks of .258 and .817 against lefties.
Opposing Glasnow for Detroit is 25-year-old Matt Manning, the 9th overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. Manning spent two and a half months on the IL this season with a broken foot and looked very good in his first five starts after returning on June 27. He had a 2.52 ERA and 0.88 WHIP over 25 innings in those outings.
But things have unraveled for Manning in his last two starts, as he has allowed 10 earned runs over 11 innings. Those 10 runs and his 4 home runs allowed were both more than his previous 5 starts combined.
It will be interesting to see whether Manning can right the ship against the Rays, whose bats have gone ice cold over the last month. They were 2nd in the league in runs scored and 1st in wRC+ on June 30, but since July 1 they are 27th in runs and 24th in wRC+.
With a clear edge on the mound, the Rays are rightfully heavy favorites in this game, which means there isn’t a ton of value on their moneyline at -192 odds. The better bet is to take the -1 spread to get the -125 odds. Getting the -1 spread without the hook is a much better bet than the moneyline. Worst case they win by 1 and that bet pushes, which is worth the risk for the better odds.
The best bet in this game, however, is the under on 8 runs. The key to that pick will be Manning, who has the stuff to keep the slumping Rays at bay. Whether he has that stuff today remains to be seen, but if Glasnow shuts down the Tigers as expected, it might not matter much if Manning struggles again.
Rays vs. Tigers Prediction: Rays -1(-125), under 8 runs (-115)
Note: all metrics above taken before Saturday’s games
Rays vs. Tigers Odds
The Rays are the betting favorites with -192 moneyline odds, while the Tigers’ moneyline odds are at +160.
Tampa Bay is laying -1 runs on the spread at -125 odds, while Detroit is getting +1 runs at +105 odds.
The over/under is set at 8 runs with -105 odds on the over and -115 odds on the under.
Rays vs. Tigers Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Rays vs. Tigers.
Tyler Glasnow vs. Riley Green
Glasnow’s strong July was the main reason for the Rays -1 pick in our Rays vs. Tigers prediction. Detroit’s splits against righties also played a big part in that.
As noted above, Detroit is horrible against right-handed pitching and Tyler Glasnow is stronger against righties than against lefties. That creates a pivotal matchup between Glasnow and the Tigers’ most effective left-handed hitter, centerfielder Riley Green.
Green is hitting .303 with an .840 OPS this season. More importantly, he is slugging more than .100 points better against righties and has hit all 9 of his home runs off righties. The Tigers likely need a multi-hit game from Green if they want to do some damage on Glasnow.
In addition to having the better starter today, the Rays also have an advantage in the bullpen. They have a 3.85 bullpen ERA this season (13th in MLB) while the Tigers have a 4.17 bullpen ERA (19th).
Detroit’s relief staff does have slightly better advanced metrics. Their FIP is 4.04 and xFIP is 4.19, which rank 13th and 15th, respectively. Tampa’s FIP is 4.29 and their xFIP is 4.44, which rank 21st and 23rd, respectively.
Both of these bullpens have declined over the last month. Since July 1, Tampa’s bullpen ERA is 4.32 (14th) while Detroit’s is 4.80 (21st). That could mean some late offense in this game, which could have a significant impact on whether the total stays under 8 runs.
Rays vs. Tigers Starting Lineups (Projected)
Rays Starting Lineup
1B Yandy Diaz (R)
SS Wander Franco (S)
RF Luke Raley (L)
LF Randy Arozarena (R)
3B Isaac Paredes (R)
2B Brandon Lowe (L)
DH Harold Ramirez (R)
CF Jose Siri (R)
C Christian Bethancourt (R)
Tigers Starting Lineup
2B Zach McKinstry (L)
DH Riley Greene (L)
1B Spencer Torkelson (R)
RF Kerry Carpenter (L)
CF Matt Vierling (R)
SS Javier Baez (R)
3B Nick Maton (L)
LF Akil Baddoo (L)
C Eric Haase (R)