Rays, Kluber Cruise Past Rangers, Perez Saturday in Tampa

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The Texas Rangers (62-81) roll into Tropicana Field on Friday to start a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays (80-63) and the Rangers’ moneyline (ML) feels too good to be true.

And it is.

Texas starting LHP Martin Perez (11-6, 2.77 ERA) is having a career year and made his first All-Star Game this summer. Perez threw seven shutout innings in a win over the Rays in late May and has five quality starts in his last six outings. Yet the Rangers are +135 at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Tampa starting RHP Corey Kluber (10-8, 4.36 ERA) has struggled to stay healthy in recent years and didn’t make it out of the first inning in his previous start vs. the New York Yankees (6 ER on 8 H in 2/3 IP with 0 K and 0 BB).

Go to DraftKings Sportsbook and BET the TAMPA BAY RAYS (-155).

Tampa Bay Rays Corey Kluber pitches during a game against the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

‘Sharps’ Like Kluber & The Rays

Tampa’s moneyline (ML) has gone from -135 on the opener up to the current number, according to Pregame.com. Granted, most of the Rangers-Rays betting market is on Tampa.

But, average Joe’s aren’t betting the Tampa Bay Rays on a Friday in football season. That’s sharp money. The line movement feels sharper because of how bad Kluber looked in his last start. Furthermore, this is a good spot to spend a little extra on Kluber and the Rays.

For instance, Tampa is 8-3 as home favorites when Kluber starts, with a +17.8% return on investment (ROI) and 5.91-3.36 final margin. The Rays are 4-0 in Kluber outings when the total is listed at 7 or lower. The total for Friday’s Rangers-Rays meeting is 7.

Finally, Tampa’s lineup is more productive vs. lefties than Texas against righties. The Rays outrank the Rangers in wRC+ (107-95), wOBA (.310-.300) and BB/K rate (0.37-0.31), according to FanGraphs.

BET TAMPA BAY RAYS (-155) at DraftKings Sportsbook. I’d bet Tampa’s ML all the way up to -165 because the Rays are 18-11 as home favorites of -165 or less this season.

  • A $155 bet on the Rays (-155) returns a $100 profit if Tampa wins outright.

Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.


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Written by Geoff Clark

Geoff Clark serves as OutKick’s sports betting guru. As a writer and host of OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark, he dives deep into the sports betting landscape and welcomes an array of sports betting personalities on his show to handicap America’s biggest sporting events.

Previously, Clark was a writer/podcaster for USA TODAY's Sportsbook Wire website, handicapping all the major sports tentpoles with a major focus on the NFL, NBA and MLB.

Clark graduated from St. John University.

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