Cubs vs Rays Prediction, Picks, and Odds for Tonight’s MLB Game

Thursday's rubber match between Chicago and Tampa Bay offers extreme value in the MLB odds, as Justin Steele provides a notable pitching edge for the Cubs when the southpaw takes the bump at Tropicana Field. Read more in our Cubs vs. Rays betting picks.

Kenny Ducey - Betting Analyst at Covers
Kenny Ducey • Betting Analyst
Jun 13, 2024 • 15:02 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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The Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay Rays are two talented teams down on their luck at the moment, so a rubber match in their three-game midweek series is incredibly fitting.

Chicago has picked things up at the plate recently and will throw one of its best arms out against the struggling Taj Bradley tonight. Find out why my Cubs vs. Rays predictions expect the road team to prevail in our MLB picks for Thursday, June 13.

Cubs vs Rays prediction

My best bet
Cubs moneyline (-114 at BetRivers)

My analysis

I’m having a much easier time trusting the Chicago Cubs over the Tampa Bay Rays tonight. Not only is Chicago's offense the more promising of the two, but its starter is head and shoulders above Tampa Bay’s.

Justin Steele has been a man on a mission this month, recording a 1.50 ERA and 12 strikeouts in two starts spanning 12 innings. The left-hander has brought his swings-and-misses back up this month and continues to sport a handsome 3.17 xERA and .228 xBA.

Meanwhile, Rays right-hander Taj Bradley has faced a plethora of issues giving up contact. It’s not exactly unheard of for a pitcher who relies heavily upon strikeouts, but a 17.3% barrel rate and .526 xSLG offer few reasons for hope here — checking in well above the league averages of 6.9% and .406.

These are two areas that led to a nightmare rookie season a year ago for Bradley, and with the Cubs owning a 105 wRC+ in the past week, they should be more than capable of hurting Tampa's starter. This is a talented offense that has recently gotten Nico Hoerner back from the IL, and it’s only a matter of time before Chicago pushes for a return to the Top 10 in run production. 

The last week has been a huge step in the right direction with far fewer strikeouts, and they’ve slugged nearly .400 in this timeframe. Even on the road, the Cubs should be bigger favorites.

Cubs vs Rays same-game parlay (SGP)

Cubs moneyline

Cody Bellinger 2+ total bases

Dansby Swanson 2+ total bases

Bradley’s thrown a four-seamer over 40% of the time this season, and it’s been the main culprit of his issues, entering tonight with a .361 xBA and .679 xSLG.

Cody Bellinger has two hits in each of his last four games and has hit .268 with a .465 slugging percentage against fastballs, whiffing on just 19.5% of offerings. He’s one of Chicago’s top power bats and has a whopping .822 OPS on the road compared to a .722 at home.

Meanwhile, Dansby Swanson is slashing .283/.340/.522 over his last 12 games and has historically been one of the league’s best against fastballs, owning a .297 xBA and .558 xSLG against the offering in 2023. The Cubs shortstop is severely undervalued in this spot.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

Cubs vs Rays odds

Cubs vs Rays live odds

Cubs vs Rays opening odds

  • Run line: Chicago -1.5 (+135) | Tampa Bay +1.5 (-160)
  • Moneyline: Chicago -115 | Tampa Bay -105
  • Over/Under: Over 7.5 (-120) | Under 7.5 (+100)

Cubs vs Rays spread and Over/Under analysis

  • The Cubs sit around -115 here, which is where they opened, but we did see a brief move to -120 on Thursday afternoon before the line dipped back down to the opening number.
  • DraftKings is reporting that 66% of the bets and 77% of the money are on the Cubs to win.
  • Just 33% of the tickets and 38% of the handle are on the Under at DK. 

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Cubs vs Rays trend

Tampa Bay has only covered the run line in 11 of its last 38 games at home (-18.65 Units / -40% ROI). Find more MLB betting trends for Cubs vs. Rays

Cubs vs Rays game info

Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Date: Thursday, 6-13-2024
First pitch: 6:50 p.m. ET
TV: Marquee, Bally Sun
Cubs starting pitcher: Justin Steele
(0-2, 4.10 ERA)
Rays starting pitcher: Taj Bradley
(1-3, 5.81 ERA)

Cubs vs Rays latest injuries

Cubs vs Rays weather

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