Baseball bettors are in for a big day with a whopping 16 games on the board for Tuesday. That includes a doubleheader between the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Guardians. One of the more intriguing matchups of the day will go down in St. Petersburg, where the Milwaukee Brewers will take on the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays are in a similar boat. Tampa Bay is one of three teams battling for second in the AL East, well behind the red-hot New York Yankees. The Rays are a distant fourth in the top-heavy AL East, though still very much in the Wild Card hunt. Amid a rash of injuries, however, Tampa Bay’s odds to win the AL pennant have slid all the way to +1400.
We’ll have a fun pitching matchup in Tuesday’s series opener. Brandon Woodruff will return from the injured list to take a turn for the Brewers, while star rookie Shane Baz will make his fourth start of the season for the home side. The moneyline odds indicate this one is a toss-up. Tampa Bay is a -115 favorite, though Milwaukee (-105) isn’t far behind.
While the Rays won’t shed any tears for the Brewers’ injury problems, Milwaukee has been beset by their own physical woes this season. Three of Milwaukee’s top starting pitchers – Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, and Aaron Ashby – have spent time on the injured list recently.
Tonight’s outing will mark Woodruff’s first on a major-league mound since May 27th as a result of a hand issue. The right-hander threw 74 pitches in his most recent rehab start in the minors, so Milwaukee may let him throw around 90 pitches tonight if everything goes according to plan.
Woodruff is 5-3 with a 4.74 ERA so far this season. That ERA is quite a bit higher than his career 3.36 mark, though he has been victimized by some poor luck. Woodruff posted a career-best 2.56 ERA in 30 starts a season ago, but it wasn’t enough to beat out his own teammate, Corbin Burnes, for National League Cy Young honors.
Paredes, who came to Tampa Bay just before the season in the trade that sent Austin Meadows to Detroit, has hit five of his 10 homers on the season in the last four games.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays finished the 2021 season with the best record in the American League before falling in disappointing fashion in last year’s ALDS at the hands of Boston. Tampa Bay entered this season among the favorites to win the division again, but things haven’t gone nearly as smoothly for Kevin Cash’s team this time around.
In addition to their numerous offensive injuries, the Rays are also without pitchers Tyler Glasnow, Nick Anderson, Pete Fairbanks, Drew Rasmussen, JT Chargois, JP Feyereisen, Luis Patino, Brendan McKay, Andrew Kittredge, and Yonny Chirinos. Veteran Ryan Yarbrough is now in the minors after struggling to begin the year, as well.
With the pitching staff down so many important arms, the Rays had almost no choice but to call Shane Baz up from the minors. The right-hander is one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, but he certainly lacks experience at the top level. Tonight will mark just the seventh MLB outing of the 23-year-old’s career.
Through the first six, three of which have come this month, Baz is 2-1 with a 3.08 ERA. After getting knocked around in his 2022 season debut by the Twins, Baz has bounced back over his last two outings. In 10.2 combined innings of work against the Twins and Yankees, Baz has yielded just one earned run on six hits with 13 strikeouts.
Tonight’s matchup against the Brewers is a difficult one, though. Milwaukee comes into Tuesday’s game ranked tied for third in total home runs (99) across Major League Baseball.
Milwaukee Brewers at Tampa Bay Rays MLB Game Pick
As you can see with the over/under, this game has the makings of a potential pitcher’s duel. The over/under of just seven runs is actually the lowest of the 16 games on Tuesday’s massive MLB slate.
Woodruff’s leash is a legitimate question mark after such a long layoff, but I do expect the Brewers to let him pitch fairly deep into this one, if possible. 100 pitches isn’t out of the question here, but Milwaukee also happens to have baseball’s top-ranked bullpen backing him up. This is an extremely tough task for an already undermanned version of the Rays, and it’s hard to imagine Tampa Bay mustering much offensive resistance as a result.
Milwaukee is the healthier team, and I think they’re the better team. I see no reason to think the Brew Crew should actually be betting underdogs in this one, but they are. Jump all over the Brewers’ -105 moneyline odds tonight.
Milwaukee Brewers at Tampa Bay Rays Betting Recap
- Moneyline: Brewers -105, Rays -115
- Runline: Brewers -1.5 (+170), Rays +1.5 (-200)
- Over/Under: Over 7 runs (-105), Under 7 runs (-115)
- Pick: Brewers (-105)