The long-awaited postseason in the MLB starts with this American League Wild Card game on Friday, October 7 in Cleveland, and here you can read the best Rays vs. Guardians betting pick and odds.
Tampa Bay and Cleveland will play the first of a best-of-three ALWC series at Progressive Field, and the Guardians are -125 moneyline favorites on BetDSI Sportsbook, while the total is set at 6.5 runs. These AL rivals have met six times this season, and the Guardians lead 4-2.
Rays are not in a good mood for the postseason opener
The Tampa Bay Rays ended the regular season with a 86-76 record, but even though they consciously rest some of their key players for the postseason, the fact that they lost five in a row is concerning. Tampa lost 12 of the previous 16 games and was swept by the Boston Red Sox over a three-game series to conclude the regular season.
The Rays scored a pair of homers in the most recent 6-3 defeat to the Red Sox. Ji-Man Choi and Vidal Brujan hit those home runs, but Choi was the only Ray with a multi-hit display. Josh Fleming dropped to a 2-5 record as he surrendered four runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and no walks in 4.2 innings.
Shane McClanahan (12-8) is slated to start the opening game of this ALWC series against the Guardians on Friday. The 25-year-old left-hander had 28 starts this year and was excellent with a rock-solid 2.54 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 194/38 K/BB ratio over 166.1 innings.
Guardians are red-hot at the moment
The Cleveland Guardians are the hottest team in the MLB at the moment. They concluded the regular season with 22 wins out of 27 games and won four of six games of the final series against the Kansas City Royals at home. Cleveland had a 92-70 record, the third-best in the American League, and not many expected them to come this far in 2022.
The Guardians scored six quick runs in the opening three innings against the Royals and cruised to a 9-2 victory. Cleveland recorded 15 hits opposite Kansas City’s six; Josh Naylor contributed with three RBIs, while Jose Ramirez and Myles Straw added a pair of RBIs apiece. Aaron Civale improved to a 5-6 record after allowing two runs on five hits with nine strikeouts and a walk over 6.0 innings.
Shane Bieber (13-8) will start for the Guardians when they meet the Rays in the ALWC opener on Friday. The 27-year-old right-hander started 31 games this year and will carry a great 2.88 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 198/36 K/BB ratio across 200.0 innings of work.
- 0-5 in the last five overall
- 1-5 in the last six playoff games
- 0-6 in the last six games vs. a right-handed starter
- 2-11 in the last 13 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15
- 7-1 in the last eight games vs. a left-handed starter
- 16-5 in the last 21 games following a win
- 6-2 in the last eight home games
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Cleveland Guardians Pick
I don’t like how the Rays have been playing recently. They scored more than three runs only once in the last eight games, while the Guardians have been quite good defensively, and I am leaning toward the hosts in this one. Shane McClanahan struggled in his lone start against Cleveland this year; he took a loss after registering a 10.38 ERA in 4.1 innings. On the other hand, Shane Bieber started twice against the Rays and has a 1-0 record as he posted a solid 3.46 ERA over 13.0 innings. The Guardians are not great against lefties, but they are in better form and I am backing them to open this WC series with a victory.
Pick: Take the Guardians to win (-125)
Even though McClanahan was disastrous in his start against Cleveland, I do expect him to show a much better display on Friday. The Guardians are averaging only .236 with 3.93 runs per nine innings against southpaws, so I don’t think they will dismantle McClanahan in this one. Tampa is struggling offensively and a high-scoring affair would be surprising. Under is 4-1 in the last five H2H meetings in Cleveland; Under is 4-1 in the Rays’ previous five overall, while Under is 5-1 in the Guardians’ last six vs. American League East rivals.
Pick: Go Under 6.5 runs (-110)