Cleveland Indians (42-40) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (49-36)
July 7, 2021 12:10 pm EDT
The Line: Tampa Bay Rays -150 / Cleveland Indians +140 ; Over/Under: 7
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The Cleveland Indians and the Tampa Bay Rays meet Wednesday in MLB action from Tropicana Field. This will be the second installment in a three-game series, and the first of a Wednesday doubleheader. The Rays won Monday’s opener, then we had a postponement due to weather. Check back all season long for free MLB picks at Sports Chat Place.
Cleveland fell behind 5-1 in the Monday game but fought back to build a three-run lead. That lead eventually evaporated in a 9-8 defeat, however. Starting pitcher Logan Allen put up 3.1 innings with seven hits, five earned and two walks.
For the starter job in game one Wednesday the Indians will go with JC Mejia. This year Mejia is 1-3 with a 6.18 ERA and 25 strikeouts to his credit.
Over on the Rays’ side, they notched a run in the sixth, one more in the seventh and two in the ninth on the way to 14 hits in the comeback win Monday. Tampa Bay’s Rich Hill managed 3.2 innings with three hits, one earned run, one walk and five strikeouts.
As the game one starting pitcher Wednesday, the Rays are going with Michael Wacha. In 51.1 innings of work this year, Wacha has 56 hits, 31 runs (30 earned), nine homers allowed, 16 walks, 44 strikeouts and a 5.26 ERA.
The Indians are 4-1 in their last five versus the AL East and 20-41 in their last 61 as an underdog. Cleveland is 1-4 in their last five Wednesday games and 1-4 in the last five road games.
Meanwhile, the Rays are 56-20 in their last 76 as a home favorite and 5-2 in their last seven as a favorite. Tampa is 2-5 in their last seven overall and 64-29 in their last 93 on astroturf.
PICK: I’m going to take a stab on the Indians. Wacha has one good outing in his last three, with 5.0 innings, one hit, two walks and seven Ks versus the Red Sox. Outside of that, Wacha has 6.2 innings, 17 hits, 10 earned runs, three homers allowed, three walks and seven Ks in the other two games. If Cleveland can get off to a solid offensive start and keep Wacha off-balance they should be in position to win.