The Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays are set to wrap up a four-game series at the Trop on Thursday night in St. Petersburg. The Rays won the first game in a tight 1-0 decision on Monday behind a brilliant game spun by Tyler Glasnow. Glasnow gave up just 2 hits and 1 walk through 7.2 innings of work. He also K’d all night with 14 strikeouts before leaving the game.
Dane Dunning was sharp for the Rangers, but a single shot by Willy Adams in the 7th inning off reliever Taylor Hearn ended up being the dagger. That’s the only run the Rays needed, but they haven’t been scoring enough to win in their last two outings. The Rangers can win three of four games and win at the Trop tonight. Following the 1-0 win for the Rays, the Rangers fought back for a 8-3 and 5-1 win.
Most recently on Wednesday, the Rangers received a standout performance from Kohei Arihara. Arihara went 5.2 innings with just 3 hits and no earned runs allowed. The Rays ended up getting to the bullpen and had scoring opportunities, but only mustered up 1 run for their 8 hits. It hasn’t been smooth sailing for the defending American League champs.
The Rays were only two games away from going to the World Series last season. Nobody remembers the loser, and I’m sure plenty of people forgot who the Los Angeles Dodgers were playing in the World Series already. Matching last season with another World Series berth is going to be incredibly difficult. Instead of Charlie Morton, the Rays are hoping a combo of Chris Archer and Rich Hill will keep them competitive.
I don’t know if the Rays think Archer is going to suffer a lot of nostalgia, and just suddenly revert back to how he pitched with them in his first stint before going to Pittsburgh in a trade, but he hasn’t been the same pitcher since going to the Pirates. What an amazing deal that was for the Rays, by the way. The Rays got Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow in exchange for Archer, which ended up being a terrible deal for the Pirates. I could see that from a mile away. I’m not always right, but nailed who was going to win that trade.
41-year-old Rich Hill is expected to get the call for the Rays tonight. Hill had a rough spring training, and it hasn’t gone smooth for him in two outings in the regular season. We’ll see if it’s just an outlier, or Hill is finally running out of juice at 41. It would be a quick and hard fall for Hill, who was great with the Twins last season. Head below for our free Rangers vs. Rays pick on April 15, 2021.
Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays MLB Betting Odds:
Rangers vs. Rays Prediction:
Rich Hill is looking for a big bounce-back performance against the Rangers tonight. If he can do that, the Rays will likely salvage this series with a split. Hill hasn’t been able to show much this season. He was well off the mark in spring training with a 6.94 ERA and 1.71 WHIP. Opponents were hitting .326 against Hill through 11.2 innings of work.
His struggles have translated to the regular season as well. Hill has conceded 9 hits and 8 earned runs in 10 innings for a 7.20 ERA. The Marlins got to him for 5 hits and 4 earned runs in his season opener, and then the Yankees did about the same with 4 hits and 4 earned runs in 6 innings.
Every pitcher hits a wall at some point in their career, and for the 41-year-old Hill, maybe he’s finally running out of steam. Hill is not a guy that depends entirely on his velocity, but it can be a long day if hitters catch on to his breaking ball. If the breaking ball isn’t working for Hill, he doesn’t have much in the arsenal to fool hitters with.
Jordan Lyles has made a living being a mediocre pitcher in the majors. That’s often good enough to catch on in the back of a rotation. Lyles has posted an ERA of 5.21 and 1.44 WHIP through 259 games beginning back in 2011. He is coming off a rough shortened season in 2020 in his first season with the Rangers. Lyles posted an ERA of 7.02 and 1.56 WHIP through 12 appearances.
He can’t do much worse than that, so the Rangers have to believe the only place to go is up from there. Lyles has been fine, just fine, with an average of 4.50 and 1.30 WHIP through 10 innings. If he can give the Rangers that throughout the season, then they’ll be content with Lyles. The Rays are hitting .333 with a home run and 2 RBI against Lyles in 14 at-bats. At even money, there is some value on the OVER.