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Tigers vs. Rays, 3:10 ET
It is going to happen at some point today. What, you might ask, will happen? Some ace is going to falter and some underdog will crush the favorite. It might even happen a few times. Last year there were poor performances from a few Opening Day starters you wouldn’t expect. It happens every year. Now they have new rules to deal with as well. I’m intrigued to see how that impacts some of them.
I’ve mentioned this before, one of the teams that I was most off about last season was the Detroit Tigers. I thought they would improve upon their 2021 second-half run. They didn’t, they sucked and I don’t expect that to change this year. Any baseball team has a chance in any game, after all, all it takes is one bad pitch or an error and the opponent can capitalize on it to win the game. The Tigers will need a few of those for them to beat the Rays today though. Eduardo Rodriguez is taking the bump for the Tigers today. He is a decent left-handed pitcher that is the best that Detroit has to offer. He did face the Rays once last season and he has an 81.00 ERA. That’s not a typo. He allowed three earned runs over 0.1 innings. I’m not suggesting he is going to get rocked, but I do think he is the type of pitcher that the Rays can make solid contact against.
Shane McClanahan is one of the Rays pitchers that they actually allow to pitch deep into games. I’m not saying he goes nine innings or something, they usually allow him five or six innings. On Opening Day, I’m expecting him to only throw about five innings today. Even if he doesn’t go deep into the game, the Rays have one of the best bullpens in all of baseball. McClanahan is one of the guys that I think has a great chance to win the Cy Young this season and he has a chance to start his season off right against Detroit. He did lose his last game against the Tigers, allowing four earned runs over 6.1 innings on the road. Though, in his first game against the Tigers, a home start (like this one) he allowed just one earned run over seven innings. I think the game on the road was more of a fluke and the home start is a more realistic scenario for the Rays ace.
I’m taking the Rays -1.5 at -105. They’ve been one of the more consistent teams for years and have a stud pitcher on the mound. The Tigers could absolutely come out and win this game, strange things happen on Opening Day. However, I think this is a better opportunity and spot for the Rays. I think they will win and win by two or more runs.
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