MLB Baseball: Tampa Bay Rays vs Detroit Tigers Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/11/2021

by James Q

MLB Baseball:  Tampa Bay Rays vs Detroit Tigers Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/11/2021

Game Time:  6:10 pm ET, Saturday, September 11th, 2021
Venue:  Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
Where to Watch:  Bally Sports Detroit, Bally Sports Sun


Opening MLB Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Moneyline: Rays -155, Tigers +135; Over/Under:  9 runs
BetMGM:  Moneyline: Rays -155, Tigers +135; Over/Under:  9 runs
PointsBet:  Moneyline: Rays -155, Tigers +135; Over/Under:  9 runs

Season Record

Rays: 88-52 (1st place, AL East) While the whole world is holding their breath trying to see who will finish second in the American League East.  These guys will finish in first.
Tigers:  66-75 (3rd place, AL Central) 
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Rays vs Tigers Preview and Analysis

Recent Form
 The Rays are 6-4 over their last ten games.  Notching 5 Overs and 5 Unders.  They went 2-2 against the Boston Red Sox, 2-1 against the Minnesota Twins, and then 2-1 against the Red Sox again.  The Rays beating the Red Sox so much has opened the door for the Toronto Blue Jays.  
The Tigers are 4-6 over their last ten games. Logging 6 Overs and 4 Unders.  They lost to the Minnesota twins 0-1, They went 1-2 against the Oakland Athletics, 2-1 against the Cincinnati Reds, and finally 1-2 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  They are spinning their wheels.  It’s only a matter of time before the last game of the season puts an end to it all.

Offensive Analysis

The Tampa Bay Rays are 13th in team batting average .242, 1st in runs scored 757 (the best stat to be first in), 5th in home runs 195.  This is a team affair.  Tampa doesn’t have a single player among the top 25 in Hits or OPS.  They do have Brandon Lowe who is 8th in home runs at 33… he’s also 9th in strikeouts 150,  along with teammate Randy Arozarena who is 10th in strikeouts 148.  There is no single great batter doing all the work like with the Baltimore Orioles or Philadelphia Phillies…. No, they are more like the Los Angeles Dodgers, everyone hits the ball well at every spot in the lineup. They also don’t seem to have cold streaks like the New York Yankees.  The offense keeps chugging along racking up wins.  They have Nelson Cruz, the oldest player in major league history with 30 home runs in a season about to face the Tigers who he has hit 3 homers and 8 RBI’s off of this season as a DH.

The Detroit Tigers are 11th in team batting average .243, 18th in runs scored 613, 20th in home runs 160.  They are bland.  Jonathan Schoop is 7th in the majors in hits 152, but nowhere to be found in the RBI top 50 because he rarely sees runners on base when he gets up.  They have Miguel Cabrera the 38 year old who recently hit his 500th career home run (he sits at 502).  He’s mildly productive this season but isn’t going to give you much of a future.  The Tigers will need to overhaul this lineup.  

Defensive Analysis

The Rays pitchers are 6th in team ERA 3.73, 8th in strikeouts 1302, and 5th in WHIP 1.19.  They have found the winning formula that produces 88 wins with 22 games to go in a season:  Be top ten in hitting AND top ten in pitching.  That’s a surefire formula for getting wins.  
The Tigers are 19th in ERA 4.41, 26th in strikeouts 1106, and 23rd in WHIP 1.37.  They have been done a great service by major league baseball.  Being in the AL Central has allowed them to accumulate some wins even though they don’t have good numbers on either side of the ball.  The Tigers have nowhere to go… they aren’t going to finish last and they won’t be in the postseason.  They’ll just be 3rd place in the softest division in baseball.  


Rays vs Tigers Prediction

Our prediction for Saturday, September 11th is Rays  8 - Tigers 1
Flip a coin on the O/U if you want to, but take the Rays on the moneyline. 
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MLB Betting Trends

The Rays have gone 59-30 as the moneyline favorites this season. 
In their last 9 games as the underdog Detroit is 4-5.

Key Injuries

Rays:  Cole Wilcox,  Tommy John surgery Wednesday OUT
Tigers: Jake Rogers C (arm)  Out for rest of season.

Players to Watch

Rays:  Brandon Lowe.  At 33 home runs on the season, he seems to be the show for going yard… of course Mike Zunino of the Rays is at 29 homers and Austin Meadows is at 24 homers.  So, this is a safe team to see some fireworks.

Tigers:  Jonathan Schoop.  At times it seems like he is all they have.  He gets the hits and the homers… followed behind by Miguel Cabrerra who is something fun to watch for history sake.

Notable Quotes

"That's definitely a privilege. David Ortiz means so much to baseball, also he's Dominican, …..So, it's an honor to be by his side." -Nelson Cruz (TB Rays) after passing David Ortiz to be the oldest ever (42) to hit over 30 home runs.  Good job Nelson.
"He amazes me every single day,...Other guys on other teams talk about how great he is. It's an honor to play with someone that's that well regarded. ... I joked with him earlier, ‘Do you have your Hall of Fame speech ready?'" -Detroit Tiger, Robbie Grossman, about watching 38 year old Miguel Cabrera get 4 hits in a game.  Miguell is approaching the 3000 hit mark (2,971) after he just recently got to 500 home runs.

Starting Lineups

M. Margot, RF
W. Franco, SS
N. Cruz, DH
Y. Diaz, 3B
B. Lowe, 2B
J. Luplow, 1B
A. Meadows, LF
F. Mejia, C
K. Kiermaier, CF
M. Wacha, SP
A. Baddoo, LF
J. Schoop, 1B
R. Grossman, RF
M. Cabrera, DH
J. Candelario, 3B
E. Haase, C
N. Goodrum, SS
W. Castro, 2B
D. Hill, CF
T. Alexander, S

Statistical Leaders

Hits:  Brandon Lowe  110
Home Runs: Brandon Lowe  33
Wins: Shane McClanahan   9
ERA:  Tyler Glasnow  2.66
IP:  Ryan Yarbrough  136

Hits: Jonathan Schoop  152
RBI:  Jonathan Schoop  73
HR:   Robbie Grossman  22
Wins:  Tarik Skubal  8
ERA:  Casey Minze  3.51

Rays: Kevin Cash, riding the wave of lots of winning.
Tigers AJ Hinch,  i’d bet this guy is ready for vacation.

Weather Forecast

Sunny.  High of 84*, wind at 18 mph.  Warm wind coming off the Great Lakes in the last days of summer heat... I could use a nap!

James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

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

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