Guardians vs Rays Picks and Predictions: Value Lies With Cleveland

Everything seems to point in favor of one team in Friday's upcoming contest between the Cleveland Guardians and Tampa Bay Rays. Cleveland has its ace on the hill, and the underdog looks like the play to bet on tonight.

Last Updated: Jul 28, 2022 4:06 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Shane Bieber Cleveland Indians MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays return home tonight after winning just two games over their seven-game road trip. On Friday, they’ll host the Cleveland Guardians and MVP candidate Jose Ramirez at the Trop.

Can Tampa Bay hold off the surging Guardians? Find out in our free MLB picks and predictions for July 29, 2022.

Guardians vs Rays odds

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

Cleveland opened at +115, and the line has since nudged down to -105. The total opened at 6.5 runs and hasn’t budged from that number.

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.

Guardians vs Rays predictions

Picks made on 7/28/2022 at 6:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Guardians vs Rays game info

Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Date: Friday, July 29, 2022
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports

Guardians vs Rays betting preview

Starting pitchers

Shane Bieber (4-6, 3.55 ERA): Cleveland expects righty Shane Bieber (4-6, 3.55) to make the start tonight. Bieber is coming off a rough outing, allowing six earned runs with three jacks over six innings pitched in a road loss to the Chicago White Sox. His overall advanced metrics (3.74 xERA, 3.29 xFIP) are solid, but his road splits are just a shade north of those numbers. Bieber is known for being a strikeout pitcher, but allows just over one bomb per nine away innings pitched.

Jeffrey Springs (3-2, 2.50 ERA): Southpaw Jeffrey Springs (3-2, 2.50) has been tabbed as Rays' probable starter, and Tampa Bay is 4-1 over Springs’ last five starts. Springs scattered eight hits and an earned run over 4.1 frames against the Kansas City Royals in his last start. The sabermetrics on Springs have been pedestrian (3.74 xERA, 3.26 xFIP), but his home splits are slightly lower and more impressive at Tropicana Field. The southpaw whiffs over nine batters while allowing 1.47 taters per nine at home this season.

Weather

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

Key injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Guardians are 4-1 in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning record. Find more MLB betting trends for Guardians vs. Rays

Guardians 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

Both sides have done some traveling lately. Tampa Bay ended a seven-game road trip, while Cleveland is playing the ninth game of a scheduled eleven-game road stretch. However, the Guardians enter with momentum clearly on their side.

The Guardians come to Tampa Bay hoping to end this series in first place in the AL Central, and they have a good opportunity to do just that. Bieber is their ace, and opposing bats slash just .242/.289/.363/.667 against the righty.

The Rays have scored three runs or fewer in four of their past six contests, and their high strikeout rate with limited power should suit Bieber on Friday night. Springs had a strong start to the season and is making his third appearance since a stint on the IL cost him nearly a month. His opponents' slash line of .233/.275/.397/.672 might be a bit deceptive, and while Cleveland bats have been brutal against southpaws, they’ve scored 38 runs thus far on this road trip.

The Guardians have one of the best closers in the game, and the price is right to take a shot at the underdog here against Tampa Bay. The Cleveland bullpen gives them the edge here tonight, as they rank seventh in MLB reliever WHIP and possess a superstar closer. 

Prediction: Guardians moneyline (-105 at bet365)

Over/Under analysis

Tropicana Field is a big ballpark, yielding the 20th-fewest home runs this season. The park also features the eighth-most strikeouts and is generally considered a bad yard to hit in.

Tropicana Field yields the seventh-fewest runs per game, but 6.5 is too low for these two starting pitchers, and the Rays' bullpen has served up 101 bombs so far this season.

The Guardians could tack on a few extra runs if Cleveland is able to get to Springs early. Bieber certainly isn’t unbeatable and has allowed five or more runs on three separate occasions this season. While we don’t see a shellacking, we can expect Tampa Bay to plate a couple of runs to add to the total.

Prediction: Over 6.5 (-115 at bet365)

Best bet

Cleveland is a dog that can hunt and smells first place in the AL Central. They are playing well on the road with their ace on the mound, and you can expect him to saw off some Tampa Bay bats and give the Guardians a solid chance at grabbing a win. Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase has blown just two of his 21 save opportunities, and you can feel comfortable that Clase and his devastating cutter will turn up in a close game.

Clase sits fourth in reliever WAR in the American League and showcased his skills at the latest All-Star game in Los Angeles, striking out the side on just 10 pitches in the bottom of the 9th to close out the win for the AL.

The Rays are tumbling, and they don’t have the offense nor the bullpen to beat Bieber and Cleveland on Friday. 

Pick: Guardians moneyline (-105 at bet365)

MLB parlays

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