Pirates vs. Rays (June 26): McClanahan, Rays aim for sweep after back-to-back walk-off wins

By | June 26, 2022

AL Cy Young favorite Shane McClanahan didn’t have too much go his way in his last two starts, but he will hope for better fortune and better results for he and the Tampa Bay Rays in his Sunday showdown with the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

McClanahan extended his streak of quality starts to eight straight in his back-to-back outings against the New York Yankees. But a lack of run support, a couple of mistakes, and a few unearned runs meant that he came up empty in both, even though his season ERA continues to drop.

On paper, things should go a bit differently against Pittsburgh, but while the Pirates have one of the worst records in the league, they are certainly a pesky bunch, as shown by their two close losses at Tropicana Field thus far this weekend.

And with their own rising young arm on the mound opposite McClanahan, the Pirates will be determined to leave the Sunshine State with a consolation victory.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Tampa Bay Rays Betting Odds and Matchup Information

Matchup Information

  • Matchup: Pittsburgh Pirates (29-42, 12-22 away, 3rd in the NL Central) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (39-32, 24-15 home, 4th in the AL East)
  • Venue & Location: Tropicana Field (St. Petersburg, Florida)
  • Date: Sunday, June 26, 2022
  • Game Time: 1:40 p.m. Eastern Time
  • TV Broadcast/Streaming Info: AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh (Pirates), Bally Sports Sun (Rays), MLB Extra Innings/MLB.TV (subscription packages)

Pirates vs. Rays Pitching Matchup

  • Pittsburgh Pirates: Roansy Contreras (2022: 9 appearances – 6 starts, 2-1, 2.89 ERA, 37.1 IP, 38 K/14 BB, 1.29 WHIP, .236 OBA)
  • Tampa Bay Rays: Shane McClanahan (2022: 14 starts, 7-3, 1.81 ERA, 84.1 IP, 113 K/16 BB, 0.85 WHIP, .185 OBA)

Pirates vs. Rays Odds

Game odds are via FanDuel. Odds from our other top reviewed and recommended sportsbooks may also be featured in this article.

Moneyline

  • Pittsburgh Pirates +194
  • Tampa Bay Rays -235

Over/Under

  • OVER 6.5 (+100)
  • UNDER 6.5 (-122)

Run Line

  • Pittsburgh Pirates +1.5 (-125)
  • Tampa Bay Rays -1.5 (+104)

Will Pittsburgh Have Another Near Miss to End the Series?

The Rays are going for the sweep this afternoon, but the situation could easily be the other way around.

In Friday’s opener, the Rays walked it off in 10 innings, with Harold Ramirez’s walk-off single giving them a 4-3 win. Yesterday, the Pirates led 5-3 heading into the bottom of the 8th inning, but Isaac Paredes hit a solo homer in that frame then a game-winning, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth to give Tampa Bay a 6-5 win.

Losing via walk-off in back-to-back games has to be pretty difficult, but until this weekend, the Pirates had actually been pretty successful in one-run games. In fact, their 10-8 record in such games beats out two current division leaders: the Los Angeles Dodgers (4-8) and St. Louis Cardinals (9-8).

If they had a chance to upset the odds in games started by JT Brubaker and Mitch Keller, they likely will with Contreras on the mound. He has yet to pitch really deep, but he has given up no more than three earned runs in any start. And the Pirates are 3-1 in his four starts this month, which includes a win over the Cardinals in St. Louis eleven days ago.

That said, they will be up against a pretty tough customer in McClanahan, who is MLB’s leader in ERA and WHIP and is second in K/BB ratio and strikeouts per nine innings.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Tampa Bay Rays Prediction and Best Bets

Pirates vs. Rays Prediction: Rays to win

Pirates vs. Rays Best Bets: Rays -1.5 (+110 at Caesars Sportsbook & PointsBet) & Rays team total over 3.5 runs (-112 at BetRivers)

Contreras has given up four runs (three earned) in each of his last two road starts, and if he does it again, it will likely spell doom for the Pirates with McClanahan in the form he is in.

Four is more or less the magic number when it comes to his starts: the Rays are 7-0 in McClanahan’s starts in which they score four or more runs and 2-5 in his starts in which they score fewer than four runs.

McClanahan is 6-2 in ten home starts this season, and of those six wins, five have come in games that the Rays won by multiple runs. Backing the run line after two tight games is risky, but that is the best value on the board for this matchup.

The next-best value is with McClanahan’s strikeouts prop, with the over 8.5 coming in at plus odds at FanDuel and all of the books mentioned above. He has recorded nine strikeouts in each of his three Interleague starts, and the Pirates enter this game after striking out 26 times in the first two games of the series.

When McClanahan has gone at least six innings in eight straight starts, you have to like his chances to be out there long enough for the over to get across the line.

The post Pirates vs. Rays (June 26): McClanahan, Rays aim for sweep after back-to-back walk-off wins appeared first on Betting News.

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