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Picks, predictions for Rays vs. Athletics on Monday, June 12

Chris Landers shares their top picks on DraftKings Sportsbook for Rays-Athletics on Monday, June 12th.

Manuel Margot of the Tampa Bay Rays is congratulated after scoring a run in the second inning during a game against the Texas Rangers at Tropicana Field on June 11, 2023 in St Petersburg, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The team with the best record in baseball meets the team on its way to quite possibly the worst record in the history of baseball, as the Tampa Bay Rays kick off a West Coast swing with a three-game set against the woeful Oakland Athletics. First pitch of Monday’s opener is set for 9:40 p.m. ET from the Oakland Coliseum. Righty Zach Eflin (8-1, 2.97 ERA) gets the ball for Tampa, while the A’s turn to the struggling James Kaprielian (1-6, 7.21).

Unsurprisingly, the Rays are massive favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, checking in at -260. Oakland is the +220 underdog, and the run total is set at 8.5.

Rays-Athletics picks: Monday, June 12

Injury report


Out: RP Calvin Faucher (elbow), RP Pete Fairbanks (hip), 2B Brandon Lowe (back)


Out: SP Drew Rucinski (knee), SP Mason Miller (elbow), RP Zach Jackson (elbow)

Starting pitchers

Zach Eflin vs. James Kaprielian

Eflin’s been sensational in his first season in Tampa, going at least six innings in all but three of his 11 starts while allowing more than three runs just twice all year. The righty works largely off of a sinker and cutter, throwing the two a combined 65% of the time — and generating a whopping 54% ground-ball rate. If he doesn’t force a weak grounder early in the at-bat, his curveball likely puts you away late, as it carries a 35% whiff rate and a puny .155 batting average against.

Kaprielian has been, well, just about the opposite, sent down to the Minors after a dismal start to the season before being called back up in May due to injuries up and down Oakland’s rotation. Things have gone a bit better for the righty in his second stint — he’s coming off of six innings with just one earned run allowed against the Pittsburgh Pirates last week — but he’s still getting hit hard. Lefties have particularly been a problem for him, with a whopping 1.017 OPS allowed on the year.

Over/Under pick

Give Oakland some credit: The A’s have now won five in a row after sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers on the road, averaging seven runs a game over that span. Obviously I don’t expect them to knock Eflin around like that, but this is a team capable of scratching off a couple of runs — and that’s all Tampa should need against Kaprielian.

Pick: Over 8.5

Moneyline pick

I really, really tried to galaxy-brain myself into an argument for backing the underdog here, but I just can’t do it. Eflin’s floor is far too high, leaving Kaprielian without very much margin for error against arguably the best lineup in baseball.

Pick: Rays