Orioles vs. Rays MLB Best Bet: Low Tallies in Tampa

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Zack Littell #52 of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts during the third inning against the Oakland Athletics. Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images/AFP

MLB Pick: Under 8 (-118) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Under 8 (-118)
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We have a full 15-game slate of Major League Baseball betting matchups this Sunday, including a game in London. We are on a 6-3 run and are again here with the three plays we feel have the most betting value at the current MLB odds.

These value-bets are based mostly on our proprietary model, which points to a total in the Orioles vs. Rays matchup Sunday.

For more of today’s analysis, check out:

Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Sunday, June 09, 2024 – 01:40 PM ET at Tropicana Field

In a battle between two pitchers that we feel are both underrated, we are betting the Under when Zack Littell and the Rays host Grayson Rodriguez and the Orioles on Sunday.

Quietly Solid

Littell may not make many headlines with a 2-3 record, but he is quietly having his best season so far at the peak age of 28. He has a 3.56 ERA with a nicely matching 3.53 xFIP through 12 starts while allowing three runs or less in 10 of those dozen outings. He has also shown nice command with a K/BB ratio of 8.69/1.45 per nine innings.

Zack will not overpower you with a 92.9 MPH fastball, but his most frequently thrown pitch is his excellent biting slider. Besides the good strikeout rate, the increased use of that slider relative to past seasons has raised his soft-contact rate to 17.1% from 12.8% since last year while at the same time lowering his hard-contact rate to 29.5% from 36.0%.

Facing Struggling Offense

Rodriguez was a highly regarded rookie last season, but he had a disappointing debut season despite going 7-4 as that mark came with a 4.35 ERA. However, he is now blossoming in his sophomore year while more closely resembling what many experts expected of him.

He enters at 6-2 with a 3.28 ERA and 3.91 xFIP. One of the bright spots of his rookie year was his strikeout rate of 9.52/9, and he has now taken that to the next level this season at an impressive 10.14/9. He has also greatly raised his soft-contact rate to 20.4% from 12.0% as a rookie, while simultaneously improving his swinging-strike rate to 13.2% from 12.1%.  

Moreover, Zack is facing a Tampa Bay offense that is struggling after being one of the best in baseball last year. The Rays were shut out while managing just two hits and striking out 14 times yesterday. They are down to 23rd in the majors in wRC+ against right-handers at 92.

So in the end, we expect both pitchers to succeed in what should be a low-scoring tight affair in Tampa.

Predicted Score: Rays 3 – Orioles 2

MLB Pick: Under 8 (-118) at Heritage Sports

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Under 8 (-118)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.