Chicago White Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays Game 1 Information
- Game: Chicago White Sox (23-26) at Tampa Bay Rays (30-21)
- Location: Tropicana Field
- Day/Time: Friday, June 3rd, 7:10 p.m. ET
Neither the Chicago White Sox nor the Tampa Bay Rays will be full strength this weekend as they face off in Tampa. Chicago is still without Eloy Jiménez and Tim Anderson while Tampa is missing Brandon Lowe and Wander Franco. So, some of these teams’ biggest stars will be out as the White Sox look to end a three-game skid and the Rays try to keep pace in the AL East. Tampa Bay has been playing much better so the White Sox vs Rays series odds are in Kevin Cash’s team’s favor.
For Tampa Bay, the usual formula of elite pitching, in a variety of different roles and usage trends… as well as good defense, has helped to overcome a below-average lineup. The Tampa Bay Rays standings are just fine through 50+ games.
Rays Consistent as It Gets
Even with nearly an entire starting rotation and bullpen on the injured list — with names like Shane Baz, Tyler Glasnow, Nick Anderson, and Pete Fairbanks all sidelined — the Rays have a top-seven pitching staff. Headlining the Tampa Bay pitchers is Shane McClanahan, who will get the start on Friday night. McClanahan is an AL Cy Young candidate and currently has a ridiculous 2.01 ERA to go with 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Whenever McClanahan pitches, the White Sox vs Rays series odds, understandably, shift toward Tampa Bay.
While the Rays’ lineup, particularly without Lowe and Franco-isn’t especially formidable; Tampa Bay is in the middle of the pack in terms of runs scored despite not getting on base that often. So, it’s clear that the Rays are adept at manufacturing runs with timely hits and speed. Tampa Bay is fourth in the Majors in steals so expect the Rays to do a lot of running this weekend. Even without a ton of power or baserunners, Tampa Bay figures it out.
White Sox Desperate for Runs
Before the 2022 season started, the big questions surrounding the White Sox were in the rotation because Chicago let Carlos Rodón go in free agency and didn’t really replace him. As a result, it’s not surprising that the White Sox starters have just the 20th-best ERA in baseball. It is surprising, though, that the bullpen has been even worse.
To top it all off, Chicago’s offense has the third-worst on-base percentage and OPS in MLB as well as the third-fewest runs scored. A lot of the offensive issues could be blamed on injuries to almost every lineup; but it’s not like the White Sox have been lighting up the scoreboard even when at full strength.
Accordingly, the White Sox odds to win the AL Central or even make the playoffs have taken a nosedive in recent weeks. Chicago losing five of its last seven games, including a three-game sweep at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays, has only made things worse and upped the sense of urgency. The White Sox need their top bats, like José Abreu and Yoan Moncada, to step up in the absence of Anderson and Jiménez. That’s easier said than done against the Rays’ staff, though.
Chicago White Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays Prediction
The White Sox vs Rays series odds are heavily influenced by the starting pitcher matchups as Tampa Bay has the big advantage in Game 1 with Shane McClanahan going up against Vince Velasquez while Chicago has the likely edge in Game 2 with Dylan Cease taking on Drew Rasmussen. The White Sox also have the ultra-talented Lucas Giolito going in Sunday’s series finale against the up-and-down Ryan Yarbrough.
With that said, the Rays have a much better bullpen than the White Sox and that should be the difference in this series. While Chicago might be a decent first-five bet, Tampa Bay’s strength is keeping games at least close until the later innings when the Rays’ deep relief core can dominate. Until the White Sox can get their offense back on track, the Rays are the smart pick to take this weekend series.Follow us on Twitter