Thursday May 23rd MLB Free Pick: Rays vs. Indians

Cleveland a Solid Play as Home Underdogs Here?

The Rays vs. Indians game for Thursday May 23rd seems to have instant value on the Indians who are +119 underdogs at Progressive Field. Cleveland is in a bit of a slump however having just been swept by the A’s at home, and Tampa Bay just scored an impressive 8-1 win over the Dodgers on Wednesday. Are the Indians still the play in this one?

Tampa Bay Needs a Strong Outing From Whoever Starts

Can the Rays get the offense going on Wednesday?

The Rays employ the opener strategy which can wreak havoc on bettors. Some books are even pulling the Rays vs. Indians game as there is some confusion about who is going to be on the mound to begin Thursday’s game. Ryan Yarbrough is a possibility for a bulk reliever role in this one as he got the call-up from Triple-A when the Rays pushed Blake Snell’s start back a day. Yarbrough allowed 7ER in his last appearance in the majors a month ago. Fangraphs has also listed Ryne Stanek as the opener in this one, but he threw 1.2 innings Wednesday vs. the Dodgers. Either option would seem to favor the Cleveland offense.

Only Avisail Garcia has faced Thursday’s Cleveland starter which one seem to give another edge to the Indians. Tampa Bay is a top 10 team in batting average and they were also solid on Wednesday scoring 8 runs on 10 hits vs. the Dodgers powered by three HR’s.

Cleveland Tries to End Their Skid

Francisco Lindor tries to lead Cleveland to a series opening win vs. Tampa Bay.

Things aren’t dire for Cleveland as they are still within 7 games of the Twins with a lot of baseball yet to play on the season. That being said, coming into the Rays vs. Indians game having dropped three straight to the A’s isn’t ideal for Terry Francona’s team either. Cleveland managed just 9 runs total in the three games vs. Oakland. Francisco Lindor and Carlos Santana have gone a combined 19 for their last 50 so it’s hard to understand why the Tribe is slumping a bit at the plate.

No matter what kind of run support Cleveland puts up in the Rays vs. Indians game, Adam Plutko has a tall order ahead of him on the mound. He made his first start of the season 5 days ago and it was impressive, giving up just 1ER on 1 hit to Baltimore in 6 innings of work. Plutko has only faced one player in the Tampa Bay lineup as well.

Rays vs. Indians Betting

Tampa Bay definitely has some issues on the mound in Thursday’s Rays vs. Indians game but can Cleveland exploit that? Cleveland should be reset after being swept by Oakland and has the better value in this one.

Rays vs. Indians Free Pick: Cleveland Indians +119

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