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Rays vs. Reds: Picks, predictions, how to watch Friday’s game

We go over how to watch Friday’s game between the Rays and Reds and make some picks.

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays and Cincinnati Reds square off on Friday with first pitch set for 6:40 p.m. ET. The game takes place at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, OH and will be available to watch on ESPN+. Shane McClanahan (9-3, 1.74 ERA) will throw for the Rays with the Reds relying on Luis Castillo (3-4, 3.09 ERA).

Tampa Bay (45-37) won five of its last six games and despite one of the top records in the American League, the Rays will enter Friday night 14.5 games behind the New York Yankees. McClanahan is tied for the best odds on DraftKings Sportsbook to win the American League Cy Young, and he allowed 3 or fewer earned runs in all 16 starts in 2022. The Rays offense scored a combined 15 runs over their last two games against the Boston Red Sox this week, and Randy Arozarena hit 2-for-5 with 2 runs scored, a home run and 3 RBIs on Wednesday.

Cincinnati (29-54) split a doubleheader with the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday and will enter the day with the second-worst record in the league. Castillo is having a strong season with the Reds through 11 starts, and he allowed just 1 run over his last two starts, a span of 13 innings. The Reds rank No. 25 in OPS (.682), and Tyler Naquin recorded 2 hits with a homer in yesterday’s victory.

Rays vs. Reds

Pitchers: Shane McClanahan vs. Luis Castillo
First pitch: 6:40 p.m. ET
Rays local broadcast: Bally Sports Sun
Reds local broadcast: Bally Sports Ohio
Live stream: WatchESPN, ESPN app with an ESPN+ subscription

Odds, picks & predictions

Run Line: Rays -1.5 (-105)
Run total: 7.5
Moneyline odds: Rays -180, Reds +155

Moneyline pick: Rays -180

McClanahan has been about as good as it gets for an MLB starting pitcher, and there is not a whole lot to point to that would suggest Cincinnati will get the best of him in this spot. Combining his excellence with the potential of the Reds being limited in their bullpen in a busy week should lead to the Rays coming away with a victory.

Player prop pick: Luis Castillo Over 5.5 strikeouts (-130)

The Reds’ starter has been a high-strikeout thrower in every MLB season to this point of his career, and that has continued into 2022 where has a 9.3 K/9. He struck out more than 5.5 batters in each of his last four starts and will face a Rays offense that strikes out 8.7 times per game, which is the ninth most in the MLB.

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