MLB Picks: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers

The Tampa Bay Rays (91-71) and Texas Rangers (91-71) are set to play Game 163 of the season on Monday night, as both teams try to earn the right to play the Cleveland Indians in Wednesday’s American League Wild Card Game.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers

Tampa Bay Rays SP David Price hasn't enjoyed previous appearances at Rangers Ballpark in his career
Tampa Bay Rays SP David Price hasn’t enjoyed previous appearances at Rangers Ballpark in his career

Tampa Bay picked up a 7-6 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday, which has allowed the club this unique opportunity in playing in a one-game tie breaker, with the winner advancing to face the Tribe at Progressive Field two days later.  “We’re not in the playoffs yet, but we’ve gotten to this point,” commented Rays manager Joe Maddon.  “Let’s just let the air out and go play.”  The ball club was 3-4 against the Rangers during the regular season, which is important to consider when making your MLB betting picks.    Tampa Bay is 14-6 on the road with a money line of -100 to -125, with the OVER going 11-8-1 in that situation.

Rays starting pitcher David Price (9-8, 3.39 ERA) led the club to victory in his last two starts of the season, including an 8-3 road victory over the New York Yankees last Wednesday, as he allowed two runs and six hits over seven frames.  The left-hander is 7-3 with a 3.21 ERA in 14 road appearances, surrendering 12 home runs in 95.1 combined innings of work.  In 13 career games versus the Rangers, Price has compiled a 1-4 record and 5.98 ERA.

Texas enters this pivotal game on a seven-game winning streak, which includes a 6-2 home victory over the Los Angeles Angels Sunday.  “We knew we had to win all seven games this week,” commented Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler.  The Rangers have terrorized opponents on the base paths this season, as they enter second in the Majors with 148 stolen bases this season.  This is the fourth time in the last seven years there has been a Game 163—something to consider when looking over the MLB betting lines page.  Texas is 11-3 as home underdogs of +100 to +125 the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 8-6 in those 14 opportunities.

Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez (10-5, 3.55 ERA) ended a personal two-game losing streak last time out, as he picked up a 7-3 home victory over the Houston Astros last Wednesday.  The left-hander is 3-3 with a 3.18 ERA in eight home appearances this season, with opposing hitters batting .284 against him.  Perez didn’t earn a decision in his only career start against the Rays on Sept. 9, 2012, as he allowed two runs and seven hits over five innings of work.

Sports bettors will likely back the Rangers due to their 7-0 mark in their last seven home games.

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