Tampa Bay Rays 2022 MLB season preview, odds, and predictions

Tampa Bay Rays' Wander Franco celebrates after scoring on a single by Yandy Diaz the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox, on Oct. 7, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Photo of Keith Schmelter

Keith Schmelter

MLB · 5 months ago

Show Bio

A Bostonian with a love for stats and baseball. Using knowledge and passion to find the right bet in MLB, NBA, NFL, and more. A lover of bold sports takes and sweat free plus odds picks. Go Sox!

Are you missing baseball too? For those that don’t know me, hello! My name is Keith Schmelter and I was the most profitable MLB writer on the Pickswise staff last season. I finished +37.6 units on money line/run-line picks, +52.9 units on game totals, and +39.3 units (21-6-1) on three-star plays for Pickswise. I am a die-hard baseball fan with an even greater passion for statistics who loves to watch and bet on baseball. While the MLB is in a lockout, I will be analyzing every MLB team and giving my predictions for their 2022 season. So without further ado, let’s start with the AL East!

Tampa Bay Rays breakdown

2022 World Series odds: +1500

2022 AL East odds: +350

2021 record: 100-62

2021 O/U record: 83-71-8

Key players in: Corey Kluber (SP)

Key players out: Joey Wendle (3B), Michael Wacha (SP), Rich Hill (SP)

Story of last season

The Tampa Bay Rays had a surprising exit in the ALDS to the Cinderella story Boston Red Sox which exposed their desperate need for starting pitching. They relied on their bullpen arms such as Drew Rasmussen, Collin McHugh and Shane McClanahan to get through the first three innings or so which left them vulnerable in the later innings due to exhausting their bullpen early in the game.

But let’s be honest, their bullpen was filthy. Their “arm barn” finished in the top five in ERA, WHIP, BAA and strikeouts during the regular season and most of those relief arms will be coming back in 2022 with a few exceptions. On offense, rising star Wander Franco was spectacular in his 70 regular-season games with a .288 batting average and .810 OPS, but became a star in the postseason with a .368 batting average and 1.158 OPS in his 19 at-bats.

Tampa Bay Rays 2022 MLB season predictions

Shane Baz was brought up late in the 2021 season to help the Rays’ starting rotation and performed well in the regular season (2-0 with a 2.03 ERA in 13.1 innings), but struggled in the spotlight of Game 2 in the ALDS as he was shelled for 6 hits and 3 runs in 2.1 innings. Baz will be an important part of their 2022 rotation which will also include two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, who was signed prior to the MLB lockout starting, but not ace Tyler Glasnow who is expected to miss the entire 2022 season recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The Rays also lost Michael Wacha and Rich Hill to their divisional rivals Red Sox prior to the lockout. As for their offense, they just locked up their future in Wander Franco with an 11-year contract worth $182 million. Keep in mind, the guy can’t even legally drink in America yet. Franco will be a staple of their offense this coming season, even with only 74 MLB games under his belt. The crazy thing is Franco is still eligible to win Rookie of the Year this coming season and could even be in the MVP talks if he continues to perform at his 2021 level.

But with power hitter Nelson Cruz on the free agent market, the Rays could find a hole in the lineup towards the middle of the order. Randy Arozarena, Brandon Lowe, and Austin Meadows make up a strong top of the order with Franco, but they might need to make a signing or two to bolster the bottom half of the order. The Rays are a scrappy bunch that seem to always find a way to win 80+ games, so they could be a threat to win the AL East if they improve their starting pitching. But in reality, I see them competing for a Wild Card spot. I expect another above .500 season for Tampa Bay in arguably the best division in baseball. 

Pickswise is the home of free sports picks, news and best bets. Check out our expert NFL Picks, NBA Picks, MLB Picks and NHL Picks for the latest game picks.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 Risk-Free Bets!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on Any MLB Game, Get $200 if Your Team Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $200 in free bets + any cash winnings from your original wager

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

DraftKings

$100

Bet $5 on any UFC 276 fight, Get $100 instantly

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any UFC 276 fight

Win $100 in free bets + any cash winnings from your original wager

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Risk-Free Bets!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,500

Get up to $1,500 Risk-Free First Bet!

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Make your first deposit of $50+

If your first bet is not a winner, get it all back as a free bet (up to $1,100) if you lose!

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.

TVG

$200

Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.