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Rangers, Rays Set to Light Up the Scoreboard

Texas Rangers vs Tampa Bay Rays Preview

With the Texas Rangers finally solving their offensive woes, they’re in position to secure a critical early-season series win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night. The Rangers (5-7 SU, 5-6-1 O/U) have rolled to consecutive victories and have looked good at the plate in the process, but they’re heavy underdogs Thursday against lefty Rich Hill and the Rays (5-7 SU, 8-4 O/U).

Texas Rangers vs Tampa Bay Rays
  • Date/Time: April 15, 7:10 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Tropicana Field
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Rays -175 | O/U 8.5 (Line History)
  • Rangers vs Rays Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Rays opened the betting as a -175 home favorite, but the line has since shifted into the -180 to -190 range in most spots. The total, on the other hand, has stood pat after opening at 8.5 (with the U8.5 at -120 and the O8.5 at +100).

Starting Pitchers Analysis

Rangers RHP Jordan Lyles (1-0, 4.50 ERA) takes the hill in the series finale and will be looking to curb the long ball. Lyles has surrendered three home runs through his first 10 innings over a pair of starts, an extension of a troubling trend that saw him allow 1.9 HR/9 in the shortened 2020 season. On the plus side, he has given up just two walks, well below his career pace.

The Rays counter with veteran lefty Rich Hill (1-0, 7.20 ERA), who is also looking for answers after a rough start to the season. Hill has given up four runs in each of his first two starts and is fortunate to have come away without a loss, thanks to the Rays scoring a combined 17 runs in those two games. Also troubling: Hill has allowed a 40.7 percent hard-hit rate through 10 innings.

Texas News & Notes

The Rangers have rekindled a fledgling offense that produced just four runs in a three-game sweep at the hands of the San Diego Padres.

Texas has scored 13 runs in its last two games against the Rays, with Charlie Culberson and Nate Lowe going deep and the team boasting a .248/.309/.356 slash line that looks much better than the .133/.212/.222 mark it posted vs the Padres.

Tampa Bay News & Notes

Outfielder Randy Arozarena made a name for himself with a sensational 2020 postseason run and that has carried over into the 2021 season, where Arozarena has been the Rays’ best hitter to date.

He’s slashing .289/.347/.444 while batting primarily out of the No. 2 or No. 3 hole, and is a terrific daily fantasy option Thursday despite going 0-for-4 in Wednesday’s 5-1 defeat.

Betting Pick: OVER 8.5

Look for the offensive good times to keep rolling in Texas against a struggling Hill, while the Rays are well-positioned to bounce back against the homer-prone Lyles.

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Shark Bites
  • Texas is 5-15 SU in its last 20 road games.
  • Tampa Bay is 3-7 SU in its past 10 games.
  • The OVER is 8-3 in the Rays’ last 11 games.