Tribe host Rays in Wild Card game
With the winner earning a trip to Fenway Park for the ALDS, the Cleveland Indians will play host to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night in the Junior Circuit's Wild Card Game.
Tampa Bay advanced to this play-in game with a win in another play-in game on Monday night - they topped the Rangers 5-2 in Texas to claim the second Wild Card berth. The Rays and Indians met in Cleveland in June, with Tampa Bay picking up two victories in those three games while scoring 20 runs.
For the Indians, Danny Salazar gets the ball, charged with keeping the Rays hitters off the base paths. He'll face Alex Cobb, 11-3 on the year.
Sportsbooks such as Bovada had installed the Indians as -112 moneyline favorites in this particular MLB matchup. The total, meanwhile, was set early at 7 before betting at 5Dimes started to move the line.
It's a baseball betting matchup between the No. 5-rated Indians and the league No. 13-ranked Rays, according to the latest MLB power poll here at Odds Shark.
Last time out for Tampa Bay, they were a 5-2 winner as they battled the Rangers on the road. Moneyline bettors who got the Rays at -114 were rewarded, while the 7 combined runs moved the game UNDER for totals bettors. The Rays enjoyed a 5-2 victory at the expense of the Rangers on Monday, with David Price throwing 9 innings of 7-hit ball at Rangers Ballpark.
The Indians were a 5-1 winner in their most recent outing on the road against the Twins. That made winners of bettors who got Cleveland at -219 on the moneyline, while the total score (6) was good news for UNDER bettors. Cleveland hopes solid pitching and defense that led to their last victory - a 13-strikeout performance from Ubaldo Jimenez - will prevail again after their 5-1 victory against Minnesota at Target Field.
How They Match Up:
The game also pits Cleveland's No. 5-rated offense, averaging 4.6 runs per game, against a Rays defense that ranks No. 11 at 3.96 in runs allowed per game. The Indians have averaged 8.59 hits per game so far, less than Rays batters have averaged on the year (8.72 hits per game).
Pitching and defensive stats are important baseball handicapping factors and Cleveland has the No. 14-ranked defense. In the other dugout, the Rays own the No. 11 mark in runs allowed.
A few Rays at Indians trends to consider:
Tampa Bay is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Tampa Bay's last 6 games
Cleveland is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Cleveland's last 7 games
Tampa Bay at , Wednesday, December 31st
Cleveland at , Wednesday, December 31st