Cardinals vs Rays Picks and Predictions: St. Louis Rebounds From Ugly Loss

The Cardinals have obliterated lefty pitching throughout the season, but with the arrivals of Brendan Donovan and Nolan Gorman, St. Louis has seen a marked improvement against righties. This could spell trouble for contact-prone Corey Kluber and the Rays.

Last Updated: Jun 8, 2022 4:40 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Brendan Donovan St. Louis Cardinals MLB
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The Tampa Bay Rays were down 2-1 heading into the bottom of the 10th inning last night, but they were able to earn a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on a three-run bomb from shortstop Taylor Walls. 

Will the Rays find a way to earn back-to-back victories against the Cardinals? Check out our MLB picks and predictions to find out.

Cardinals vs Rays odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

After opening as a +147 underdog, the Cardinals could be found anywhere between +130 and +138 at the time of this writing. 

The total, which opened at 7.5, is now either 7.5 or 8. It wouldn’t be surprising if it ultimately lands at 8 or higher everywhere. 

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Cardinals vs Rays predictions

Picks made on 6/8/2022 at 9:45 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Cardinals vs Rays game info

Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Date: Wednesday, June 8, 2022
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports

Cardinals vs Rays betting preview

Starting pitchers

Packy Naughton (0-1, 3.09 ERA): Naughton gave up one run in 2 1-3 innings in his last outing, and the swingman won’t be asked to do too much more than that in this one. If the lefty can somehow throw three innings, St. Louis would be ecstatic. But the Cardinals know he can’t work too deep into games, and he’ll have a short leash before St. Louis turns to its bullpen. 

Corey Kluber (2-2, 3.73 ERA): Kluber has been a good signing for the Rays, and the righty is coming off two great starts in a row. The veteran has allowed just two earned runs over his last 12 innings, and one of those excellent performances came against the vaunted New York Yankees.

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Cardinals: Corey Dickerson OF (Out), Jordan Hicks P (Out), Alex Reyes P (Out), Dylan Carlson OF (Out), Steven Matz P (Out), Drew VerHagen P (Out), Jack Flaherty P (Out).
Rays: J.P Feyereisen P (Out), Wander Franco SS (Out), Brandon Lowe 2B (Out), Phoenix Sanders P (Out), Chris Mazza P (Out), Shane Baz P (Out), Luis Patino P (Out), Nick Anderson P (Out), Tyler Glasnow P (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Cardinals are 9-4 in their last 13 games against right-handed starters. Find more MLB betting trends for Cardinals vs. Rays

Cardinals vs Rays picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

The Rays find themselves outside of the Top 15 in a lot of key numbers against left-handed pitching this year, and that includes on-base percentage (.311) and slugging percentage (.357). Their struggles against southpaws should translate to similar issues with Packy Naughton early in this game. And the longer the lefty is able to pitch in this game without blowing up, the better the chance that the Cardinals have to emerge as winners — despite being underdogs. 

While Corey Kluber has had a great season to this point, he just doesn’t consistently bring it the way he used to. He's surrendering more contact and striking out fewer batters than during his heyday in Cleveland. At his peak, Kluber allowed just 7.3 hits per nine innings pitched from 2014 through 2018 while striking out more than 10 batters per nine innings. With the Rays, he's allowing nearly a hit an inning with a K/9 of 8.2.

A good Cardinals lineup that strikes out less frequently than every team in baseball not named the Cleveland Guardians is capable of going out there and giving him fits. St. Louis is sixth in the league in weighted runs created against righties this year, and the team is also tied for ninth in batting average against righties. 

And those numbers against right-handers are only improving with the arrivals of Nolan Gorman and Brendan Donovan to the lineup. Gorman has a .956 OPS and 169 wRC+ in 48 plate appearances against right-handers and has almost been exclusively used against them. Donovan, meanwhile, is slashing .316/.438/.456 with nine extra-base hits and a 159 wRC+ against righties over 96 plate appearances. Pair them with Paul Goldschmidt, Harrison Bader, and Nolan Arenado, all of whom are hitting better than .285 vs. right-handed hurlers, and the Cardinals are a great value play at plus money tonight.

Prediction: Cardinals moneyline (+138 at WynnBET)

Over/Under analysis

It’s hard to believe the total in this game is so low, even after these teams needed 10 innings to score only six runs on Tuesday. The pitching matchup just doesn’t warrant such a low number, as Naughton is easily capable of letting up a run or two in his short stint on the mound. He’ll then be passing the ball off to a bullpen that could be a little tired coming into this game.

While Kluber's propensity to allow a lot of contact — and base hits to boot — hasn't translated to a ton of runs against him (he's allowed more than two runs in just two of his 10 starts), he is a bit of a ticking time bomb. And the low number of runs scored can be partially attributed to a relatively short leash. This isn't the Kluber of old who would go eight or nine innings like clockwork. He hasn't exceeded six innings of work with Tampa and he's completed five or fewer innings in half of his starts. 

The Over is also 15-5 in the last 20 games that the Cardinals have played against AL East opponents, and it’s 8-3-1 in the team’s last 12 games against right-handed starters. On top of that, the Over is 7-3 in the last 10 games in which the Rays have played coming off of a win. And it’s 7-3 in Tampa Bay’s last 10 interleague home games against teams with winning records. 

Prediction: Over 7.5 (-114 at FanDuel)

Best bet

Not only is St. Louis 9-4 in its last 13 games against right-handed starters, but the Cardinals are also 20-8 in the second game of their last 28 series.

Kluber has had a solid season for Tampa Bay thus far, but the righty isn’t unbeatable and has been prone to abbreviated outings even if his overall numbers have been decent. This Cardinals lineup has shown greater prowess against right-handers in recent weeks and is in a great position to make Kluber's life difficult. 

PickCardinals moneyline (+138 at WynnBET)

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