The Tampa Bay Rays host the Texas Rangers in the first of a four-game AL series on Monday night from Tropicana Field. The Rangers are looking to rebound from a home sweep by the Padres and will give the call to Dane Dunning. The Rays continue a seven-game homestand after winning two of three over the rival Yankees and will send Tyler Glasnow to the mound.
Dunning Silences Blue Jays, Lowe Cools Down
Dane Dunning will make his second start of the season to open this series. Dunning was stellar in his season debut, limiting a strong Blue Jays lineup to one run on three hits in five innings and struck out six batters, leading to a 7-4 victory. The young right-hander was outstanding in his 2020 rookie season with the White Sox before the offseason trade, filing a 3.97 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP accompanied by a 2-0 record in 34 innings of action.
Texas was able to win the final two games of the series against the Blue Jays earlier this week and were then swept by San Diego due to awful production at the plate which included two shutout losses.
Nate Lowe is one of the hottest hitters in all of baseball early this season, accumulating a remarkable 14 RBI’s along with three home runs. The 25-year old third baseman came over in an offseason trade from the Rays and hit .224 with 11 RBI”s in 21 games in 2020. Lowe has cooled off a bit, going four straight games with an RBI.
The Rangers are scoring an average of 4 runs on the season, placing them 20th overall. They enter with a 4.74 team ERA, pegging them 22nd in the big leagues.
Glasnow Dazzles, Rays Top Yankees
Rays' manager Kevin Cash will have Tyler Glasnow make his third start of the season on Monday. Glasnow was tremendous last time out, holding the Red Sox to only one run and struck out nine in six innings of work, leading to the no-decision in a game the Rays lost 6-5. The hard-throwing right-hander posted a gem in his season debut as well and has allowed only one run in his 12 innings of work, leading to a minuscule 0.75 ERA and a 0.58 WHIP. He tossed six shutout innings in his lone career start against Texas.
The Rays have won two of their first three series of the season. They won two of three over Miami, were swept by the Red Sox, and took two of three against the Yankees this weekend. The bullpen is dealing with several injures including Peter Fairbanks and 1B Ji-Man Choi is also out.
Randy don’t play that pic.twitter.com/n1og3WneNB— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 11, 2021
Joey Wendle has been the Rays' most productive hitter in seven games played. The 30-year old third baseman has collected seven RBI’s along with a dazzling .940 OPS. Wendle does have power and hit a solid .286 last season. He is 21 for 67 with nine RBI’s in his career against the Rangers.
Tampa Bay is averaging 4.56 runs per game, ranking them at 12th in the Majors. They own a 5.18 team ERA, landing them 22nd overall.
The Texas Rangers are:
- 3-7 in their last 10 games against the Rays.
- 1-5 in their last 6 Monday games.
- 17-42 in their last 59 road games.
The Tampa Bay Rays are:
- 6-1 in Glasnow's last 7 home starts.
- 4-0 in their last 4 home games against a team with a losing record.
- 7-3 in their last 10 games in the first game of a series.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Rays have the dominant Tyler Glasnow on the mound in this one and I believe he will be one of the top pitchers in the AL this season. Glasnow has been incredible in his two performances this season, conceding only one run on five hits in 12 innings and has struck out 15 batters. The right-hander reaches 100 MPH and I expect him to silence a Rangers team that has only scored a combined four runs in their last three games.
Furthermore, the Rays won two of three over the Yankees over the weekend while the Rangers were just swept by the Padres. Rangers’ starter Dane Dunning looks to be a promising pitcher however the right-hander is inexperienced.
Full-Game Total Pick
The stumbling Rangers’ offense is going to have a difficult task attempting to solve Tyler Glasnow who looks to be in for a remarkable season. As mentioned he has struck out 15 batters and has only issued two walks. He has logged six innings in both starts and I expect him to pitch deep into this game as well. The under is 5-2-1 in the Rangers’ last eight road games against a right-handed starter.
In addition, the Rays should generate a fair amount of offense however, Dunning is a talented young pitcher and held the Blue Jays to only one run in his season debut. The under is also 3-0-1 in the Rays’ last four home games against the Rangers.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The under on the Rangers team total is an attractive bet. Texas RBI leader Nate Lowe was responsible for several of their runs in the first week however he has been very quiet recently. Texas has scored three or fewer runs in three out of their last four games overall.
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
I am taking the Rays to score first. The Rays have been a big threat in the opening frame this season, registering a combined 18 runs through innings 1-3 which is their highest scoring stretch. I expect Glasnow to silence the Rangers considering his dominance in his first two outings.