Tampa Bay Rays vs Cleveland Indians predictions

Sun 7/25 1:10 ET
Tampa Bay Rays
Cleveland Indians
Progressive Field

Pickswise's Expert Predictions & Analysis

Money Line Prediction
TB Rays Win
Game Totals Prediction

Money Line Prediction

The Rays have started the second half on a hot streak, and they have won 6 games in a row.  They are 7-2 since the break, and that success has helped them reach a tie with the Red Sox for the lead in the AL East.  Tampa Bay bolstered their lineup with the addition of slugger Nelson Cruz, and they have outscored Cleveland 18-7 in 2 games with Cruz in the lineup.  The Rays are 6-0 against the Indians this season, and they should be able to keep their winning streak alive in this one.

Starting on the mound for Cleveland will be Triston McKenzie, and he has been very inconsistent this season.  The young right-hander is 1-4 with a 5.91 ERA through 12 starts and 13 appearances this season, and he has really struggled with command.  McKenzie has issued an alarming 41 walks in 53.1 innings, and his walk rate of 17.5 ranks in the bottom 1 percent among all MLB pitchers.  Issuing free passes to a lineup as hot as Tampa Bay’s could be problematic.

Ryan Yarbrough is listed as the projected starter for Tampa Bay, and he is 4-1 with a 3.81 ERA on the road this season.  He was not his sharpest in his last outing against Baltimore, but he allowed just 1 extra base hit and did not receive any run support.  He should be able to limit the damage against a Cleveland offense that is just 15-for-104 (.144) so far in this series, while the offense behind him provides steady run support against McKenzie.  Tampa Bay also has one of the better bullpens in the American League, so back the Rays on the Money Line in this matchup.

Game Totals Prediction

As mentioned, the Indians are hitting just .144 through the first 3 games of this series, and their .691 OPS against left-handers is 25th in the league.  They have not been able to string runs together against Tampa Bay’s pitching staff, and they are just 2-for-24 (.083) with RISP.  Yarbrough does a good job of limiting hard contact, and he does not issue many walks either.

McKenzie has been inconsistent, but he does have good swing-and-miss stuff, and the Rays are prone to striking out.  He is holding opponents to a .159 batting average at Progressive Field, and this will be Tampa Bay’s first time seeing him.  The under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings between these teams in Cleveland, so consider backing the under in this matchup.

Under 9.5 available at time of publishing.  Playable at that number.

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