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baseball | Thursday, September 29, 2022 10:13 AM

Cleveland Guardians vs Tampa Bay Rays Moneyline Best Bet: Springs Gets the Better of Quantrill

Cleveland Guardians vs Tampa Bay Rays Moneyline Best Bet: Springs Gets the Better of Quantrill
Contributor: Zuma Press / Alamy Stock Photo

Cleveland Guardians vs Tampa Bay Rays Moneyline Best Bet: Thursday, September 29th

The Cleveland Guardians wrap up their three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night. Cleveland has cemented the American League Central title, and Tampa Bay is all but assured of a wild card berth. The Rays, however, could yet move into the second wild card slot, securing homefield advantage in the first round.

A potential playoff preview between two of the American League’s best teams, bookies can barely split the Guardians and Rays here. Cleveland has a 3-2 advantage in the season series, and the Rays have struggled on the road.

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Thu, Sep 29. 23:10 (UK time)

For all the season-long trends, this is a game which Tampa Bay will fancy their chances in. Cleveland is sending Cal Quantrill to the mound, who has a slightly deceptive 3.49 ERA. Quantrill has an xERA of 4.43, and he’s down in the 12th percentile in strikeout rate. There isn’t much swing-and-miss in his fastball-cutter mix, and while this Rays offence is only around league average in September, they should be able to do some damage here.

Soft-tossing southpaw Jeffrey Springs is on the other side of this pitching matchup. Springs has also overachieved his expected mark by almost a run, but his xERA is still just 3.38. Elite at getting hitters to chase, and above average in barrel rate, Springs is a real challenge for a Cleveland offence dependent on making contact. He won’t overpower Cleveland or rack up a tonne of strikeouts, but the Guardians could see themselves sat down quickly with a lot of weak contact.

Only two teams have hit the ball hard less frequently than the Guardians in September. Their old-school offensive approach has been carried by elite pitching throughout the season. It is a big ask for that to work on Thursday given how Quantrill and Springs have pitched this year (Springs even has a 1.78 ERA this month).

Cleveland Guardians vs Tampa Bay Rays Best Bet

The respective relief corps are pretty much equal. Cleveland’s group has an xFIP just 0.10 lower than Tampa Bay’s this month. Both are going to be needed, too. Springs seldom goes beyond the sixth inning, and Quantrill could be in for a tricky outing against this Rays offence which should make him work.

There isn’t a great deal to choose between these ballclubs going into Thursday’s game. Tampa Bay has the edge between the starters, though, and that could be enough to squeak out a narrow win. There’s value backing the road team to snatch an important win at 2.05.

  • Selection: Tampa Bay Rays Moneyline
  • Best Odds: 2.05 (Boyle Sports)
  • Stakes: 4/10

Odds as of 1134 am September 29th, 2022. Odds may now differ.

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