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Tampa Bay Favored To Continue Hot Streak in Cleveland

New addition Nelson Cruz and the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night.

The Tampa Bay Rays are 4-0 over their last four games including two straight wins over the Cleveland Indians so far in this series. The Rays will try to extend their current winning streak and their 10-game winning streak over the Indians with another road win this Saturday night in Cleveland.

Tampa Bay Rays vs Cleveland Indians
  • Date/Time: July 24, 7:10 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Progressive Field
  • TV Coverage: FS1
  • Opening Odds: Rays -138 | O/U 10 (Line History)
  • Rays vs Indians Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Rays opened as a -138 favorite on Saturday night before settling in at Tampa Bay -143. Cleveland is going off as a +132 home underdog in this matchup while the total has remained unchanged since opening at 10 runs. The OVER is 5-2 in Cleveland’s last seven games against Tampa Bay.

Starting Pitchers Analysis

Drew Rasmussen has compiled a 4.55 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP through 29.2 total innings  pitched between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays. Rasmussen has pitched well in his last three appearances with a 1.50 ERA, a 0.83 WHIP, and seven strikeouts in six innings. He will serve as this Saturday’s opener and isn’t expected to pitch more than two innings.

J.C. Mejia is having an awful month with a 13.09 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP across three very bad starts in July. The 24-year-old opened the season with eight straight scoreless innings, but has since seen his ERA rise to 7.53 and his WHIP rise to 1.44 due to his struggles. The Indians are 2-6 in Mejia’s eight starts this season.

Tampa Bay News & Notes

Tampa Bay made a trade with the Minnesota Twins to add Nelson Cruz ahead of the trade deadline to help bolster its offense. Cruz wasted little time in contributing to his new team, hitting a solo home run in the third inning of his Tampa Bay debut to help lead the Rays to a 10-5 win over the Indians on Friday night. At 41-years-old, Cruz continues to hit at an elite level with a .293 batting average, 46 runs, 20 home runs and 51 RBI this season.

The Rays made another trade on Friday night sending Rich Hill to the New York Mets in exchange for minor-league prospect Matt Dyer. Tampa Bay enters the weekend tied with the Houston Astros for the second best record in the American League at 59-39 and one game behind the AL East leading Boston Red Sox.

Cleveland News & Notes

The Indians had been playing well with a 5-1 record through their series against the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland Athletics, but their two latest series against Houston and Tampa Bay have knocked them back down to earth with a 1-4 record over their last five games. Cleveland is 26-16 against AL Central opponents this season and an underwhelming 22-31 against everyone else in 2021.

Jose Ramirez went 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBI in Friday’s loss to the Rays. The third baseman leads the team in home runs (20) and RBI (56) and has been at the center of plenty of trade rumors this month. But considering the Indians have him under contract through 2023 and that he is just 28-years-old, it’s hard to imagine Ramirez is going anywhere barring a severe overpayment on the trade market.

Betting Pick: Tampa Bay -138

It is somewhat surprising to see the Rays going off at such a reasonable price in this spot. Considering their dominance over the Indians in recent seasons and J.C. Mejia’s major struggles on the mound, Tampa Bay seems like a solid play here.

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Shark Bites
  • Tampa Bay is 7-1 in its last 8 road games vs. Cleveland.
  • Cleveland is 3-8 in its last 11 home games.
  • The OVER is 6-2 in Tampa Bay’s last 8 games.