AL heavyweights collide as the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Texas Rangers in the first game of a three-game series on Monday, July 17. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET from Globe Life Field. AL Cy Young candidate Shane McClanahan (11-1, 2.53 ERA) will take the mound for the Rays, while Texas counters with righty Dane Dunning (8-2, 2.84 ERA).
Tampa is the -125 moneyline favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Rangers coming in at +105. The total is set at 9.
Rays-Rangers picks: Monday, July 17
Out: RP Brett Martin (shoulder), RP Josh Sborz (bicep)
Out: RP Andrew Kittredge (Tommy John), SP/RP Josh Fleming (elbow)
Shane McClanahan vs. Dane Dunning
McClanahan started against the Rangers in June and conceded three earned runs in seven innings while recording five strikeouts. His last two games before the All-Star break were cut fairly short as he battled a back injury — in two starts, he pitched just 6.2 innings and allowed six earned runs in that time frame.
Dunning had a good June, with a 3-0 record and a 3.62 ERA. He kicked off July with a solid outing against the Red Sox, allowing one earned run and recording four strikeouts. He slipped up against Washington in his latest start, though, conceding four earned runs in 5.2 innings.
The last time these two teams faced off, the totals were 11, 12, and 10. Even against excellent pitchers, the Rays and Rangers bring two of the best offenses in the game head to head. I’m going with another high-scoring affair.
Pick: Over 9
The Rangers just swept the Guardians at home, and the Rays won a road series against the Royals. The last time these two teams faced off this season, the Rays won two of three. With McClanahan on the mound, I like Tampa Bay to take the first one here, as well. These teams both rank in the top five in runs per game, but the Rays’ combination of McClanahan and their bullpen is hard to beat.