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Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays MLB Expert Pick

Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays MLB Expert Pick and Prediction – June 9, 2023

TEXAS RANGERS VS. TAMPA BAY RAYS MLB EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – June 9, 2023 — When you’re only giving up two runs a night, you’re just not going to lose very often. Tampa Bay made it six straight wins on Thursday, and the Rays are threatening to have baseball’s best division wrapped up by Labor Day. Every member of the AL East save the Red Sox sits at least eight games over .500, yet the Rays are lapping the field, holding a 6.5-game lead over a Baltimore squad that’s got the third-best record in the majors.

Sitting No. 2, of course, is the Texas Rangers, the only other MLB squad to have already reached 40 wins. The Rangers hit like nobody’s business, leading the majors in runs, but they also lead the majors in run prevention. Texas boasts a mind-boggling +154 run differential, in large part because they hit 13 points higher than the next-best team. 

Of course, No. 2 on the list of hitting teams is Tampa Bay. Both teams also pitch well, sitting No. 3 and No. 4 respectively on the ERA list. In short, there really isn’t a lot that either team can count as a genuine flaw. This might be a preview of the ALCS if both teams can continue their momentum.

Read more of our MLB picks here!

The Odds






Texas Rangers

(40-21 SU,
40-21 RL)





Tampa Bay Rays

(46-19 SU, 37-28 RL)





DraftKingsFirst Pitch

When: Friday, June 9th at 6:40 p.m. EDT

Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla. 

Starting Pitchers: Andrew Heaney, TEX (4-3, 4.03 ERA, 60 K’s) vs. Tyler Glasnow, TB (0-0, 3.72 ERA, 14 K’s) 

Public Bets: 70% on Tampa Bay

Public Money: 82% on Tampa Bay

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of June 9th, 2023

Texas vs. Tampa Bay In-Season Trends

One reason Texas is rolling is because Texas doesn’t lose two in a row very often. The Rangers’ past eight defeats have all been followed up with a win, and they’re also great at getting off to a good start. They’ve won the opener of their past four series and seven of their past nine.

Meanwhile, the Rays’ defense is doing most of the work. Tampa Bay has gone under in six straight games, which fits well with the UNDER cashing in five of the past six meetings between the teams. The Rangers are also looking to prove something in this series, as they’ve gone just 1-4 in their past five against the Rays.

Players to Watch

Is Andrew Heaney really as good as he’s looked, or is he surviving off the help of his defense? The Rangers’ defense has played brilliantly this season, and it’s kind of masked Heaney’s flaws. He’s been getting hit, but usually the ball ends up hit right at a fielder. Heaney struggled far too much last time out against Seattle, making it through just three innings before the Rangers decided to make it a bullpen game. 

For Tampa Bay, Wander Franco is likely to get chances to swipe a bag or two. The biggest difference between the Rays and the Rangers is that Tampa Bay goes for stolen bases far more often, and Franco is the Rays’ best with 22 stolen bases. He’s hit safely in 11 straight games, hitting .452 in that stretch. Backing him to steal a base makes a lot of sense.

The Pick

The Rangers don’t lose two games in a row very often, but they might be in trouble in this one. Heaney just hasn’t been effective enough to trust him in a game like this against a team like Tampa Bay. The Rays are patient at the plate and aggressive on the basepaths, and that’s likely to be a bit too much for Texas here.

The Rangers have played very well this season, but this isn’t the right matchup to trust them at these odds.

Dan’s Picks

Rays ML

Wander Franco Stolen Base

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