Miami Marlins vs Tampa Bay Rays Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/26/2021

by Amedeus Mastrangelo

Game Time: 1:10 pm ET, Sunday September 26, 2021
Venue:  Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Where to Watch:  BSSUN


Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Moneyline odds:  Marlins +225, Rays -280; Over/Under:  8 runs
Bet365:  Moneyline odds:  Marlins NL, Rays -NL; Over/Under:  NL runs
BetMGM:  Moneyline odds:  Marlins NL, Rays -NL; Over/Under:  NL runs

Season Record

Miami Marlins:  64-89 (4th place, NL East)
Tampa Bay Rays:  95-59 (1st place, AL East)
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Miami Marlins vs Tampa Bay Rays Preview and Analysis

Recent Form
Miami Marlins:  4-6 last 10
Tampa Bay Rays:  6-4 last 10

Miami Marlins Analysis

The Marlins are coming into this game after losing the first game of this series 8-0 to the Rays. That loss has put them on a 3 game losing streak with the result from Saturday's game still pending as it has not been played yet. The Marlins have lost the last 2 series they have played in, 1 against the Washington Nationals and the other against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Sandy Alcantara will be getting the nod for Saturday's game while Jesus Luzardo will be the starting pitcher on the mound in this game on Sunday. He is 5-8 with a 7.01 ERA this season. He was acquired from the Oakland Athletics earlier this year but the Marlins have won 4 of their last 5 games when he was the starter. In his last start, he allowed 5 ER, 1 being a HR, and 4 BB with 2 Ks on 6 hits through 4 IP against the Nats last Monday. He has not seen this Rays lineup at all in a game this season. Their offense has scored 14 runs in their last 4 games averaging over 3 runs per game in that span and they have allowed their opponents to score 29 runs against them in that same span allowing a little over 7 runs per game.

Tampa Bay Rays Analysis

The Rays are coming into this game after winning the series opener between these two. This will be the series finale of a three-game series against the Marlins with Saturday's game still to be played, the result is pending. The Rays have won 3 of their last 4 games and have started to get back into their groove as the playoffs are approaching quickly. Shane McClanahan will be the starter for Saturday's game while rookie pitcher Shane Baz will be throwing the first pitch for them in this game on Sunday. He is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA this season and will be making his 2nd ever start in an MLB game in his career. He was credited with the win in his debut against the Toronto Blue Jays last Monday as his team won that game 6-4. He allowed 2 ER, both of them being homers, and 0 BB with 5 strikeouts on 2 hits through 5 innings of work. He has never faced the Marlins lineup before but they have never seen him throw pitches in a game either. Their offense has scored 23 runs in their last 4 games averaging a little under 6 runs scored per game in that span and they have allowed their opponents to score 9 runs against them in that same span allowing over 2 runs per game.


Marlins vs Rays Prediction

Luzardo has not been good at all this year stretching back to his day on the A's. The Rays have started to get hot again with their batters and they will be looking to hit full stride by the time the playoffs roll around in a week or so. The Marlins have not been scoring recently and they have nothing left to play for in this game. They cannot even play spoiler in this series as the Rays have already clinched a playoff spot, they are just going for the division title now. They have a rookie pitcher up which can be an advantage the first time a team faces him because they do not know what he is going to throw at them. The best bet to place in this game is on the Rays. 
Marlins Rays Prediction:  Our MLB Pick for Sunday September 26, 2021 (1:10 pm ET start time) is Rays 7 Marlins 1.
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MLB Betting Trends

Miami Marlins: 36-66 (-14.1 units) on the money line as an underdog of +100 or higher. 64-89 (-14.5 units) on the money line in all games.
Tampa Bay Rays: 63-33 (+10.6 units) on the money line as a favorite of -110 or higher. 95-59 (+23 units) on the money line in all games.

Key Injuries

Miami Marlins:  P. Lopez (SP) Early Oct - Shoulder injury. J. Brigham (RP) Early Oct - Undisclosed injury. C. Poteet (SP) Early Oct - Knee injury.
Tampa Bay Rays:  R. Thompson (RP) out for season - Shoulder injury. O. Drake (RP) out for season - Elbow injury. T. Hunter (RP) Early Oct - Back injury.

Players to Watch

Miami Marlins: Jesus Aguilar is one player to watch in this game. He leads his team in home runs and in RBI. If anyone can try to put a damper on the Rays’ hopes of clinching the division sooner it is him so look for him to make some big hits in this one as they look to spoil.
Tampa Bay Rays: Kevin Kiermaier is one player to watch here. He has expressed in many postgame interviews now how fired up he is to be in the playoffs and motivated to beat everyone. Look for him to start heating up in this final stretch.

Notable Quotes

"Our whole group, we know what situation we're in, and we just want to take advantage of that. Try to take that next step in winning the division, and hopefully once we do we just keep going and do not get content. We have to keep that motivation because we just need to keep this competitive fire that we've had and just ride that out as long as possible." - Kevin Kiermaier on him and his teammates' mentality as the season winds down.
"We've played some good games against the contenders and tonight wasn't one of them. It started from the very beginning." - Don Mattingly on his team’s performance on Friday.

Starting Lineups

Miami Marlins
M. Rojas SS
J. Chisholm Jr. 2B
B. De La Cruz CF
J. Sanchez RF
L. Brinson LF
L. Diaz 1B
N. Fortes DH
E. Alvarez 3B
P. Henry C
Tampa Bay Rays
B. Lowe 2B
W. Franco SS
J. Choi 1B
N. Cruz DH
A. Meadows LF
R. Arozarena RF
J. Wendle 3B
F. Mejia C
K. Kiermaier CF

Statistical Leaders

Miami Marlins
Batting Average:  B. De La Cruz (.311)
Hits:  M. Rojas (127)
Home Runs:  J. Aguilar (22)
RBI:  J. Aguilar (93)
Stolen Bases:  J. Chisholm (22)
Wins:  S. Alcantara (9)
Saves:  D. Floro (12)
ERA:  S. Okert (2.01)
Tampa Bay Rays
Batting Average:  W. Franco (.284)
Hits:  Randy Arozarena (138)
Home Runs:  Brandon Lowe (34)
RBI:  Austin Meadows (103)
Stolen Bases:  Randy Arozarena (15)
Wins:  S. McClanahan (9)
Saves:  Andrew Kittredge (7)
ERA:  C. McHugh (1.34)
Miami Marlins: Don Mattingly (6th season)
Tampa Bay Rays: Kevin Cash (7th season)

Weather Forecast

88 degrees F mostly sunny, 63% humidity, 20% chance of rain, up to 5 mph wind speeds S.

Amedeus Mastrangelo

About the Author:

Amedeus Mastrangelo has been heavily wagering on all sports for years and plays just about everything, including sides, totals, favorites, underdogs, against the spread, alternative spreads, first half, second half, player props, and futures. The bottom line is, if Mastrangelo can see an edge in any way shape or form, then he's going to take advantage.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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