Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Rays MLB Pick – June 29th

It seems that every week nearly the exact same scenario plays itself out. Jacob deGrom gets a start, is a huge favorite, I bet against him, and pick up boatloads of cash when the Mets lose. The reigning Cy Young Award winner in the National League just can’t seem to win many games this season. He pitches well, he loses. He pitches poorly, he loses. It doesn’t really matter how well he pitches, he loses.

So, when I saw him once again as a big favorite last night against the first place and red-hot Atlanta Braves, I could barely contain my excitement as I made a big play on the Braves. Throw in the fact that Atlanta was starting their rookie sensation, Mike Soroka, who was second in the National League in ERA coming into the game, and it felt like I was stealing.

The game itself played out much as I expected that it would. Soroka was great, he pitched into the seventh inning, allowing just two runs. And deGrom was solid as well, and once again it did not matter, as the Mets got blown out 6-2. Braves outfielder, Austin Riley, continued his tear as he homered again, it was his thirteenth bomb in just his forty-first ever major league game.

At some point, the books are going to have to adjust and stop making the Mets favorites every time he pitches. I know it is hard not to like a guy that can be as good as deGrom, but the fact of the matter is that the Mets have lost twelve out of his last fifteen starts, and he was favored in nearly all of those games.

At this point, it’s almost a blind bet situation for me. This Mets team is imploding, and they are likely to start shipping off pieces any day, and manager Mickey Callaway couldn’t be on a hotter seat. Until they either trade deGrom or get their act together, I will likely look to fade them every time they are heavy favorites. For today’s game, we will head to Tampa Bay where the Rays host the Texas Rangers.

The Texas Rangers are in Tampa Bay Saturday looking to lock up the series win against the Rays. Texas won the opener last night 5-0 behind a dominant start from Lance Lynn. Lynn pitched eight shutout innings, punching out ten along the way. Rougned Odor had three RBI, and the Rangers picked up their sixth consecutive win. The Rangers are 18-9 in the month of June and have surged up the standings in the American League.

For Tampa Bay, they are heading in the opposite direction as they have lost eight out of their last eleven games. Going back even further, the Rays have lost twelve out of their last seventeen games. This team was in first place not long ago. And after this rough month, they are now seven games back of the New York Yankees for first place in the American League East Division.

Starting for the Rangers is Adrian Sampson (6-4 4.14 ERA) and for the Rays is it Brendan McKay (0-0 0.00 ERA) making his major league debut. The game total over-under is set at eight runs. The Rays are big -186 home favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM PST from Tropicana Field in St, Petersburg.

When the Tampa Bay Rays played an epic 18-inning game last week against the Minnesota Twins, they were forced to use today’s expected starting pitcher Ryan Yarbrough in relief. That meant they had nobody to go today. Instead of using their bullpen by committee approach, they called up one of the top prospects in baseball, Brendan McKay.

McKay was a former number four overall draft pick and has been absolutely killing it in the minors this season. But a lot of his success has been at the double-A level. This season he is a combined 6-0 with a 1.22 ERA in stops at both double and triple-A. He has a whopping eighty-eight strikeouts in just sixty-six, and two-thirds of an inning pitched.

The Rays expected to call him up at some point this year, but make no mistake, their hands were forced as they have been in a nasty slump and had nowhere else to turn. McKay is expected to make just two starts and then head back to the minors for more development.

Texas will start Adrian Sampson tonight in game two. Sampson has had a very hot and cold month. In three of his five June starts he is 3-0 with twenty-three innings pitched, allowing just three total runs, with twenty-two strikeouts. In his other two starts, he is 0-1 with just eight innings pitched and has allowed nine earned runs. Which Sampson will we see tonight? It is hard to say.

Prospects don’t get much hotter than Brendan McKay. He was ranked in the top fifty of every major scouting service coming into this season and is expected to be a solid major league starter at some point. But the fact that a kid that got called up on short notice for an emergency spot start is laying nearly -200 against the Rangers, who currently have fourth-best record in the American League, is mind-boggling.

Yeah, this kid has looked great pitching to eighteen-year old’s in double-A, that doesn’t mean he is going to be able to do that in the big leagues against a Texas team that is third in the majors in runs scored. Now, I can see why the books are doubting Sampson, he is hit and miss for sure. But this Rangers team is on fire. There is no doubt about it, this is an awful number.

I might be able to buy the Rays as small favorites in this game, but -186 is a joke. So, I will do what I always do, and that is jump on the value side, and take the Rangers. Give me the Texas Rangers getting all kinds of juice at +176 tonight in game two from Tampa Bay!

The Bet: Texas Rangers +176

My Pick
Jason Gray / Author

Jason is a true Las Vegas insider as he has called the sports betting capital of the world his home for sixteen years. Jason started out his career in gaming by running the biggest poker tournaments in the world and managing some of the biggest sportsbooks on the strip. Jason has transitioned out of casino operations and has been covering sports betting for the sports geek for just over two years. His main focus is on baseball, college basketball, and the NFL