The Atlanta Braves (60-28) and the Tampa Bay Rays (57-35) will wrap up their three-game series on Sunday, July 9. First pitch from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida is set for 1:40 p.m. ET. Atlanta will start Bryce Elder (7-1, 2.45 ERA), while Tampa Bay counters with Zach Eflin (9-4, 3.24 ERA).
The Rays are the -120 moneyline favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Braves are the +100 underdogs, and the run total is set at eight. After the All-Star break, Atlanta will return home and welcome the Chicago White Sox to town for a three-game series starting on Friday, July 14. Tampa Bay will go on the road for a three-game set against the Kansas City Royals beginning Friday.
Braves-Rays picks: Sunday, July 9th
Day to day: RP A.J. Minter (pec)
Day to day: SP Tyler Glasnow (hands/leg), RF Josh Lowe (bereavement)
Out: SP Shane McClanahan (back)
Bryce Elder vs. Zach Eflin
The Atlanta All-Star will be taking the mound for the 18th time this season. He hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in four consecutive starts. Elder allowed two earned on seven hits over 6.2 innings against the Cleveland Guardians his last time out. He struck out one and walked two, but it was enough to pick up his seventh victory of the year.
Eflin will make his 17th start on Sunday. He is in the midst of a career year in his first season with the Rays. His last time out saw him give up two earned runs on four hits over seven innings against the Philadelphia Phillies. Eflin struck out nine hitters but ended up taking his fourth loss.
The run totals in this series have ended at three and seven, respectively. The Braves’ pitching staff has nullified the Rays’ lineup. Taking the under with these teams is risky because of their scoring abilities. Still, the pitching staffs have been putting on a clinic. Barring implosions on the mound by Elder and/or Eflin, this one should see the under hit.
Pick: Under 8
Despite the best start in the league to begin the year, the Rays have dropped seven straight games heading into Sunday. The Braves are riding a three-game win streak and have won nine of their last 10 games. Tampa Bay needs the All-Star break to reset, but barring a bad game from Elder, Atlanta should pull off another sweep to end the first half.