Rays vs. Orioles MLB Best Bet: Suarez To Conquer Civale

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We have a typically full 15-game slate of Major League Baseball betting matchups for Friday. We are here with a play that, according to our MLB odds, we feel has the most betting value at the top-rated sportsbooks.

These value-bets are based mostly on our proprietary model, which favors a side in the Rays vs. Orioles matchup on Friday night.

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MLB Pick: Orioles ML (-137) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Orioles ML (-137)
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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles

Friday, May 31, 2024 – 07:05 PM ET at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

We have starting pitchers Albert Suarez of the Orioles and Aaron Civale of the Rays rated fairly close. However, sizeable edges in the batting slits and bullpens have us betting on Baltimore at home.

Not This Good but Good Enough

Suarez has bounced around between the rotation and the bullpen. He is now making his fifth start in his 12th appearance. The veteran has been solid, going 2-0 with a sparking 1.53 ERA. To be fair, he has not been nearly that good. He has a 4.08 xFIP while benefiting from a .233 BABIP allowed and an 83.3% strand rate.

Still, while not quite an opener, he does not figure to go much longer than four innings unless his pitch count is low, which would be a good sign because it would mean he is pitching well. He appears good enough to be effective over such a short spurt against a disappointing Tampa offense that has just a wRC+ of 94 against right-handers while ranking 26th in OPS against them at .655.

Furthermore, once Suarez departs, the Baltimore bullpen has a solid 3.97 xFIP.

Better Than ERA but Facing a Good Offense

Civale is the antithesis of Suarez. The former is 2-4 with a 5.72 ERA but owns a much better 3.72 xFIP. He has been undone by an unlucky strand rate of 63.3% despite a nice strikeout rate of 9.05/9. However, the Orioles are in the bottom half of the league with a 21.7% strikeout rate offensively, so strikeouts may be harder to come by tonight.

The Orioles also have the better offensive split Friday, as they are above average with a 103 wRC+ against righties with a healthy .708 OPS against them. Also, Baltimore is seventh in the majors in runs scored while Tampa Bay is down in 22nd.

Finally, Civale does not have nearly as good a bullpen supporting him, with the Rays’ unit 27th in xFIP at 4.53.

The Pick

So, while we admit Suarez is in line for negative regression and positive regression is expected for Civale, in the end, we rate them about even. Thus, the noticeable edges in the batting splits and the bullpens make the Orioles our selection at Camden Yards.

Predicted Score: Orioles 6 – Rays 3

MLB Pick: Orioles ML (-137) at Heritage Sports

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Orioles ML (-137)
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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.