The best teams in the AL collide as the Texas Rangers (40-21) and Tampa Bay Rays (46-19) get set to begin a three-game series on Friday, January 9. First pitch from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida is set for 6:40 p.m. ET. Texas will start Andrew Heaney (4-3, 4.03 ERA), while Tampa Bay counters with Tyler Glasnow (0-0, 3.72 ERA).
The Rays are the -165 moneyline favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Rangers are the +140 underdogs, and the run total is set at eight.
Rangers-Rays picks: Friday, June 9
Out: UTIL Brad Miller (oblique)
Day to Day: 1B Yandy Diaz (hip)
Out: RP Calvin Faucher (elbow), RP Pete Fairbanks (hip), 2B Brandon Lowe (back)
Andrew Heaney vs. Tyler Glasnow
The southpaw Heaney will make his 12th start of the season, and it’s been the sort of roller-coaster ride we’ve become accustomed to from him over the years. He lasted only three innings in his last outing, giving up three earned on six hits, but he didn’t factor into the decision as the Rangers tallied 16 runs in the game. Prior to that appearance, Heaney had allowed two total earned runs in his last three outings.
Glasnow will be making his third start of the season after missing the first couple of months with an oblique strain. The right had a rocky first appearance coming off the injured list but was able to bounce back his last time out, allowing just one run on four hits over 5.1 innings against the Boston Red Sox. He struck out six and walked three, but didn’t factor into the decision.
The Rangers had tallied at least four runs in four straight games before getting shut out by the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday. The Rays have scored at least four runs in five of their last six games. Heaney and Glasnow are both solid pitchers, but these offenses are tough to stop.
Pick: Over 8
Texas had its five-game win streak come to an end on Wednesday, while Tampa Bay is riding a six-game streak of their own. This series is highly anticipated as it is between the two top teams in the American League and could easily be a preview of the ALCS this year. I think the Rays have a slight edge in the opener and will continue to roll behind Glasnow as he continues to round into form.