The Tampa Bay Rays and the Chicago Cubs kick off a three-game interleague series at Wrigley Field on Monday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 2:20 p.m. ET.
The Rays took two of three games in another interleague series at home over the weekend against the Dodgers, including a wild 11-10 win Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Cubs are reeling after suffering a three-game home series sweep at the hands of the division-rival Reds. They enter this three-game set on a four-game skid.
Can the Rays keep up the good work against NL clubs on the north side, or will the Cubs bounce back after looking rather listless over the weekend? I break it all down in my MLB betting picks below.
Rays vs Cubs odds
Rays vs Cubs predictions
The Tampa Bay Rays head to the Windy City with three straight series wins, going 7-3 across the past 10 games. Two of those series victories are against National League clubs.
Tampa Bay’s offense has been firing on all cylinders after a 20-1 loss last Tuesday against the visiting Blue Jays served as a wake-up call. The Rays have plated 38 runs in the five games since, going 4-1 while averaging 7.6 runs per game.
The Rays pitching staff has allowed 3+ runs in nine straight games dating back to May 19, allowing a total of 59 runs, or 6.6 runs per game. It’s no surprise the Over has cashed in each of those nine outings.
The Chicago Cubs were outscored 25-10 at the hands of the Reds in the three-game sweep over the weekend, and the pitching staff has allowed 8+ runs in each outing of the current four-game losing streak, with the Over also cashing in each.
The current nine-game homestand started out promising enough, with a pair of wins against the Mets in two well-pitched games. But the bottom has dropped out lately, as the north siders find themselves eight games under .500 and in the basement of the NL Central.
Facing the first-place Rays — a team that leads the majors with 335 runs scored and a +120 run differential — won’t exactly be the elixir to cure the ills of the Cubs. The friendly confines haven’t been terribly welcoming to the Cubs this season, as they’re 13-15 in 28 home dates, and it won’t be much better on Memorial Day.
Back the Rays for the road win, as Tampa Bay will tee off on Chicago's hurlers.
My best bet: Rays moneyline (-125 at BetRivers)
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Rays vs Cubs moneyline analysis
The Rays hand the ball to right-hander Taj Bradley, who is 3-1 with a 4.44 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP in 24 1/3 innings in his five starts this season. However, he suffered his first loss of the season last time out against the Blue Jays in that 20-1 debacle, allowing four runs and nine hits in four innings.
The Rays should respond for Bradley, however, as Tampa Bay is 22-7 in the past 29 series openers while going 8-3 in the past 11 interleague road outings. Tampa Bay is also 7-1 in the past eight games against NL Central foes.
For the Cubs, while they’re a solid 18-7 in the past 25 series openers, Chicago has stumbled with an 8-20 record in the past 28 interleague games at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are also 4-11 in the past 15 against AL East opponents.
In addition, the Cubs have managed just a 2-8 record in the past 10 games after a loss, while going 2-6 in the past eight home games against a right-handed starting pitcher. Back the Rays in the series opener.
Rays vs Cubs Over/Under analysis
The Over is on a serious roll for the Rays, going 6-1 in the past seven games on the road while cashing in six in a row against a right-handed starting pitcher.
In addition, the Over has hit in each of the past nine games after a victory, while going 5-0 in the past five interleague contests.
As far as the Cubs are concerned, the Over is 4-0 in the past four games at Wrigley Field, while connecting at a 15-5-1 clip in the past 21 games overall.
The Over is also 10-1-1 in the past 12 games after a loss for Chicago, while going 7-0 in the past seven interleague battles.
While the wind is forecast to be blowing in at Wrigley Field Monday, the evidence in the trends is overwhelming to lean Over.
Rays vs Cubs game info
|Location:||Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL|
|Date:||Monday, May 29, 2023|
|First pitch:||2:20 p.m. ET|
|TV:||Bally Sports Sun, Marquee Network|
Taj Bradley (3-1, 4.44 ERA): The Rays right-hander allowed just two runs and three hits with two walks across five innings in a no-decision in his most recent road outing against the Mets on May 18. While he hasn’t lasted longer than 5 1/3 innings in any of his five outings, he has allowed three or fewer runs in four of his five contests.
Marcus Stroman (4-4, 2.95 ERA): The veteran was cooking last time out, allowing just two runs and four hits across eight innings in a win, leveling his record at 4-4. He has managed quality starts in five of the past six outings. However, he's served up four homers in six starts at home, and the Rays should be able to get after it against a familiar face they know from his days in Toronto.
Trend to know
The Over has cashed in nine straight Tampa Bay games. Find more MLB betting trends for Rays vs. Cubs