Cubs vs Rays Prediction: Tampa Bay Fading Fast

Rays Drop to Last Place in AL East

The Chicago Cubs (32-34) visit the slumping Tampa Bay Rays (31-35) for a three-game series starting Tuesday. The Cubs are in a three-way tie for second place in the NL Central. Tampa Bay’s four-game losing skid has dropped them to last place in the AL East.

The Cubs haven’t been very good on the road, but Tampa Bay hasn’t played well at home. The Cubs vs Rays predictions show Jameson Taillon and Zach Eflin the scheduled starters for Tuesday.

  • The Rays are -135 and the total is 7.5-over (-115). Tampa Bay is +155 on the runline at -1.5 runs.

The Cubs are No. 26 in team batting average, hitting just .229. Chicago is tied for No. 19 in home runs, so they’re scoring a little bit through the long ball.

The Cubs are averaging 4.3 runs per game, which isn’t bad considering their offensive stats. The current MLB playoff picture has Chicago in a wild card spot, so the offense is doing enough to get some victories.

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The pitching staff hasn’t been all that bad, ranking No. 14 in team ERA at 3.92. The bullpen has been a little weak, especially on the road. The Cubs have 15 saves, but also 12 blown saves. Chicago has more blown saves than saves on the road.

Tampa Bay’s biggest problem recently has been offense, or lack of. The Rays are No. 20 in team batting average at .232, but are last in the league in home runs and No. 28 in slugging percentage and OPS.

If the offense doesn’t pick it up soon, the MLB season is going to be a disappointing one.

The pitching staff is No. 25 in team ERA. It’s not the strength of the team anymore, as the Rays have seen most of those starters move elsewhere.

It’s one of the problems of being a small-budget MLB team. The bullpen has also felt the hit and the relievers are now a little below average.

Cubs logo Cubs vs Rays Rays logo

Date & Time:
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida

Tuesday’s Game

The Cubs are 5-4 when Taillon starts, but just 1-3 when he starts on the road. He hasn’t pitched bad with a 3.52 ERA, although it looks like something is bothering Taillon. Taillon started out the season in fine fashion, allowing one earned run or less in his first four starts.

He then missed a start, going 10 days between outings, and hasn’t been the same. He’s allowed at least three runs in each of his five starts.

Eflin is 3-4 with a 4.14 ERA and the Rays are 6-5 when he starts. He’s pitched a little better at home this season. He missed a couple of weeks and came back to pitch four innings in his last start against Miami.

Tampa Bay could have him on a pitch count once again, which isn’t ideal with an overused bullpen. The over 7.5 could be worth a small wager for one of your MLB picks of the day.

Wednesday’s Game

The Cubs vs Rays predictions show Javier Assad should get the start for the Cubs against Aaron Civale. Assad has gotten the job done for Chicago, but he hasn’t always gotten a lot of help. He’s 4-2 with a 2.67 ERA and the Cubs are 7-6 when he starts.

Chicago is just 3-4 when he starts on the road and his ERA is 3.68. Overall, the Cubs are 5-8 in totals when Assad takes the mound.

Civale can’t catch a break this season. He’s 2-5 with a 5.51 ERA and the Rays are just 4-9 when he starts. The Rays have lost four baseball games where Civale allowed two runs or less while he was on the mound.

He pitched decent against Baltimore last start, but made one mistake and it cost him.

Civale is too good of a pitcher to keep struggling, but it’s hard to bet him right now. The under could be worth a look in this one.

Thursday’s Game

The Cubs vs Rays predictions show Justin Steele and Taj Bradley as the scheduled starters in the series finale. Steele is 0-3 on the season with a 4.26 ERA, but the Cubs are just 1-7 when he starts. Chicago has lost all four of his road starts despite a 3.96 ERA.

Bradley is 1-4 with a 5.17 ERA and the Rays are 2-4 when he starts. His numbers are a bit misleading, as he’s had four decent starts and two horrible starts on the year. The Rays have been shutout in three of his starts this season, so he can’t take all the blame.

The MLB scores and odds will have this one fairly close to even and you can make a decent case for taking Bradley and the Rays in this spot, so take Tampa Bay to win the final game of the series.

For MLB betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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