Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Rays – MLB April 15

7:10 p.m. ET – Rangers at Rays (-190 ML) O/U: 8

The 5-7 Rangers look to secure the series victory over the 5-7 Rays on Thursday night after taking two of the first three games. In the first three games of the series, the Rangers have outscored Tampa Bay 13-5, with their only loss coming in the opening game by a score of 1-0. The Rays were unable to overcome a four-run top of the seventh in Wednesday’s game that led The Rangers to a 5-1 victory.

Tampa Bay was unable to score any runs against Texas right-hander Kohei Arihara who only allowed three hits in 5.2 innings of work.

About the Rangers

Texas Rangers LogoCenter Fielder Joey Gallo has shown a matured approach at the plate this season as he hopes to avoid battling the Mendoza line once again, and early on it is being put on display with a .270 batting average through 12 games. First baseman Nate Lowe was signed this offseason after playing the past three years with the Rays.

Lowe made Tampa Bay pay on Wednesday, smashing his fourth home run of the young season. Texas also acquired David Dahl this offseason following four seasons with the Rockies, but Dahl has not looked like the guy who has batted over .300 twice in his career so far. Dahl is batting only .209 with zero home runs and only three RBIs. The Rangers do not have the pitching staff to win baseball games if this lineup does not have everyone producing at their maximum potential.

About the Rays

Tampa Bay Rays LogoThis series against Texas has been a microcosm of the slow start the reigning American League champion Rays have endured so far this season. Tampa Bay is scoring only 3.8 runs per game, ranking 23rd in the league, while they are allowing 5.7 runs per game. The Rays are in flux in the batter’s box, but have a solid pitching staff from top to bottom.

That should help them stay afloat while they figure things out offensively. Tampa Bay is going to need ALCS MVP Randy Arozerena and outfielder Austin Meadows to continue their hot starts if they hope to win the American League East again this season.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Texas Rangers +1½ (-125) +160 O 8 (-110)
Tampa Bay Rays -1½ (+105) -190 U 8 (-110)

The Pitching Matchup

Texas will be handing the ball to right-hander Jordan Lyles on Thursday night. Lyles has been adequate in two starts this season, going 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA over 10 innings of work. The Rays will be asking Rich Hill to take the mound and hoping he can finally put together a good start this season. Hill is 1-0 in two starts this year, but he has a 7.20 ERA in 10 innings pitched. Hill has had some bad luck while pitching this year, with soft contact finding holes and defensive miscues keeping him out on the mound when better fortune would have had him chilling in the dugout. With a lot of left-handed hitters in the Texas lineup, Thursday night boasts a great opportunity for Hill to get back on track.

What’s the Bet?
The bet for this game is for water to rise to its level eventually and in this case it should be Tampa Bay finding some offensive success. Jordan Lyles is a flyball pitcher and that could be exactly what the Rays need to catch fire, just one or two home run balls to open the floodgates. The Rangers lineup is stacked with lefties which Rich Hill should be thrilled to see as he has dominated left-handed hitters throughout his career. The Moneyline for this one is a hefty price at -180, making the best bet for this game to lay the 1.5 runs with the home team and sit back to watch Tampa Bay get a blowout win to even up the series.
The Bet

*Odds courtesy of MyBookie

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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.

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