Tampa Bay Rays (36-22) vs. Texas Rangers (22-36)
June 5, 2021 4:05 pm EDT
The Line: Texas Rangers +152 / Tampa Bay Rays -165; Over/Under: -8.5
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The Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers meet Saturday in MLB action from Globe Life Field. This will be the second installment in a three-game series between these teams over the weekend. In the opener Friday, the Rangers eked out a one-run victory. Check back all season long for free MLB picks at Sports Chat Place.
Tampa Bay managed a split with the Yankees in four games this week, winning Monday and Thursday. In the Friday opener versus the Rangers, the Rays posted two runs in the top of the ninth but couldn’t bridge the gap in a 5-4 loss. Starter Josh Fleming managed 7.0 innings with 10 hits and five earned.
For the starting role in the Saturday game two, the Rays will send out Rich Hill. Over 57.0 innings this year so far, Hill has 39 hits, 21 earned runs, seven homers allowed, 19 walks, 60 strikeouts and a 3.32 ERA.
Over on the Rangers’ side, they played the Rockies this week but didn’t have any luck in a three-game sweep. In the Friday opener against Tampa, Texas had to hang on but got the hard-earned victory. Kyle Gibson posted 5.1 innings with five hits and no earned.
For the Saturday starting job, the Rangers are going with Kolby Allard. Over his 24.0 innings of work this year, Allard has 21 hits, nine earned runs, four homers allowed, seven walks, 27 strikeouts and a 3.38 ERA.
The Rays are 6-1 in their last seven versus a lefty starter and 5-1 in their last six in game two of a series. Tampa is 23-7 in their last 30 overall and 23-9 in their last 32 Saturday games.
Meanwhile, the Rangers are 7-19 in their last 26 overall and 5-11 in their last 16 Saturday games. The under is 9-2 in Texas’ last 11 versus the AL East and the over is 4-1 in their last five Saturday games.
PICK: I’m rolling with the Rays here. Hill has been on fire over his last six starts, posting a 1.11 ERA with 46 Ks in 40.2 innings. He’s also got a .473 opponents’ OPS in that span and was the AL Pitcher of the Month for May. As for Allard, he gave up two earned on two hits in 4.0 innings his last time up. I like a good performance from Allard here as well but the Rays should have the inside track on a win.