- Date: Thursday, September 29, 2022
- Location: Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio
- Time: 6:10 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: Bally Sports Great Lakes, Bally Sports Sun, MLB Extra Innings, MLB.TV
The Cleveland Guardians have clinched the American League Central Division. However, the Tampa Bay Rays, who play in the AL East, are still fighting for a spot in the American League Wild Card race as the 2022 Major League Baseball Season nears its end. The teams close out a critical three-game series on Thursday night in Cleveland.
The Guardians are at the top of the AL Central with a 86-68 record. Last year the team finished out of the playoffs with an 80-82 record. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays are the third-place team in the AL East with an 85-69 record. The New York Yankees have clinched the East (95-59). Tampa is in the Wild Card race, but they trail the Toronto Blue Jays (87-68) and have the Seattle Mariners on their tail (83-70).
Before we look at the September 29, 2022, matchup between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Guardians, check out our 2022 World Series Betting Guide, as well as the best sites for betting on MLB in 2022.
Rays vs. Guardians picks
|Tampa Bay Rays||-105||-111|
Rays vs. Guardians pitching
Jeffrey Springs gets the start for the Tampa Bay Rays. The 30-year-old left-hander has been an MLB pitcher since he broke into the league with the Texas Rangers in 2018. He joined the Rays in a trade with the Boston Red Sox in 2021.
This year is Springs’ first as a starter. He has been the starting pitcher for 23 Rays’ games and has a record of 9-4. Springs has a career-low ERA of 2.56 this year on a career-high 126.1 innings pitched. His strikeouts this year stand at 136. His most recent outing came on Friday when he went five innings against the Blue Jays. Springs gave up six hits and three earned runs in a 10-6 win for the Rays.
The Guardians have Cal Quantrill as their starting pitcher on Thursday night. The 27-year-old right-hander is in his third year in the majors. He joined Cleveland in a trade with the San Diego Padres in 200.
Quantrill has started 30 games this year and put together a 14-5 record. He is one of the leaders in the AL in wins. Quantrill’s ERA this year is 3.49 on a career-high 175.1 innings pitched. He has racked up 120 strikeouts on the year for the Guardians. In his most recent start, which came against the Texas Rangers on Saturday, Quantrill threw six innings and gave up five hits and one earned run in a 4-2 win.
Springs and the Rays have the edge in starting pitching.
Rays vs. Guardians hitting
The Rays are in the middle of the pack in team hitting in the American League. Tampa Bay has a team batting average of .242 to go with 134 home runs and 1,250 hits. Yandy Diaz leads the club in batting average at .292, while Randy Arozarena paces the team in home runs (20), RBIs (88) and hits (152).
Cleveland is the No. 4 team in the AL in team batting average at .253. The club has 122 home runs and 1,340 hits. Anders Gimenez is first on the team — and fourth in the AL — in batting average at .305. Cleveland also has players in the top-five in the AL in RBIs (Jose Ramirez at 119) and hits (Amed Rosario with 173).
As for team scoring, the Guardians have 664 runs scored vs. 607 runs allowed, while the Rays have scored 649 runs and given up 586.
Cleveland is the better hitting team for the 2022 MLB season.
As the odds indicate, this game is essentially a pick ’em. The first game of the current series between these teams went 11 innings. Tampa Bay won that contest 6-5. The previous series between these clubs, which took place in July, saw the Guardians win two of three, but the games were closely contested.
With their post-season unsure, I suspect Tampa Bay is going to play with more desperation than the Guardians and with that, the Rays are the best bet to win this matchup.
Pick: Tampa Bay Rays to beat Cleveland Guardians
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