Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays Pick
Two teams headed in different directions as of late meet when the Rangers and Rays begin a three-game weekend series at the Trop Friday night. Texas is making up ground in its AL West divisional race, while Tampa is losing ground in the AL East. Which way are we going here for our free MLB pick?
MLB Betting Odds
As of this writing, Friday's MLB betting odds were holding off on lining this game, as Tampa toyed with its pitching situation.
Rangers vs. Rays Set-Up
Texas just swept three games in Detroit earlier this week, winning Thursday's series finale 3-1. Rangers pitching allowed a total of five runs through those three games.
Just before that Texas won the last two games of a three-game series at home against the White Sox. So the Rangers ride a five-game winning streak into Friday night.
At 45-36 overall Texas now trails division-leading Houston by just 4.5 games in the AL West, and it owns the No. 2 spot in the American League playoff standings.
Tampa, meanwhile, just dropped two of three games at Minnesota this week, avoiding the sweep by winning Thursday 5-2 in 18 innings. That game was tied at 2-2 in the second inning, and neither team scored again until the Rays pushed across three runs in the 18th and hung on.
Just before that Tampa split four games at Oakland, and just before that the Rays got swept three games by the Yankees in New York. So Tampa is just 3-7 over its last 10 games.
At 46-35 overall the Rays now trail the first-place Yanks by 6.5 games in the AL East, although they also still lead the AL wild-card race by one game over the Rangers.
This series is the first meeting between these two teams this season. Last year Tampa took the season series from Texas five games to one.
Friday's Starting Arms
Chirinos, by our stringent standards, is 5/10 on quality starts this season and three for his last four. Last Saturday he held Oakland to two runs and six hits through six innings, although the Rays lost that game 4-2. And over his last four starts, he's allowed just seven runs and 20 hits through 26 innings.
Tampa is 5-5 with Chirinos this season, and while it's 0-3 over his last three starts, that's not his fault.
In his only career start against the Rangers, in April of last season, Chirinos gave up six runs through 5 2/3 innings of a 7-2 Rays loss.
Lynn is 9/16 on quality starts this year and three for his last five. Last Saturday he gave up five runs and six hits through seven innings against the White Sox, but the Rangers won that game anyway 6-5. And over his four starts previous to that he allowed eight runs and 24 hits through 25 1/3 innings, with 32 strikeouts.
Texas is 10-6 with Lynn this season.
In his most recent start against Tampa Bay, last year while with Minnesota, Lynn gave up five runs in six innings of an 8-7 Twins loss.
Friday's Batting Splits
Texas is batting .264/.340/.464 against right-handed pitching this season.
Tampa is batting .255/.330/.436 against RH pitching this season.
The Rangers bullpen owns a 4.63 ERA this season and a 1.44 WHIP while allowing a .795 OPS.
The Rays pen owns a 3.36 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP while allowing a .677 OPS. But this unit threw 16 innings Thursday and may be short-handed for this game.
- Unders are 42-38 in Rangers games this season.
- Unders are 42-33 in Rays games this season.
- Overs are 17-16 in games played at Tropicana Field this season.
- Unders are a combined 17-8 in games started by Chirinos and Lynn this season.
- Totals split 3-3 in Rangers-Rays games last season.
- Get more details: Rangers at Rays MLB Match-up Stats
Rangers at Rays Prediction 06/28/2019
Texas is hot, in a baseball sense, while Tampa, not so much. And in this spot that's good enough for us. We're riding the Rangers for our free MLB pick here.
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