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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Cleveland Indians MLB Betting Predictions & Preview

Rays vs Indians Baseball Odds

The Tampa Rays needed to go to Texas on Monday and beat the Rangers in a tiebreaker game just to mkae the Wild Card play-in game. Now they’ll face sudden elimination for the second time in three days when they take on the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field in the first American League playoff game of the season.

The winner of this game will have plenty of work still in front of them, as they will draw the Boston Red Sox in the Division Series.

Tampa Bay Rays (92-71) at Cleveland Indians (92-70)
Date: Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Time: 8:07 PM ET
Venue: Progressive Field
City: Cleveland, Ohio
Moneyline: Tampa Bay -111, Cleveland +101
Over/Under: 7
Pitching Matchup: RH Alex Cobb (11-3, 2.76 ERA) at RH Danny Salazar (2-3, 3.12)

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Tampa Bay got past Texas on Monday on the back of a stellar pitching performance by ace David Price, who threw a complete game for his 10th win of the season. Evan Longoria provided all the offense he would need, going 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and a pair of RBIs. Longoria has been on absolute fire of late, going 12-for-29 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in his last seven games.

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The Rays will send out Alex Cobb in this contest. Cobb closed out the regular season strong, posting wins in each of his last three starts, allowing only three runs over 23 1/3 innings of work, striking out 26. He allowed more than two runs in only two of his final nine starts. Cobb’s only start of the season against Cleveland was also his first start of the season overall. He kept the Indians from scoring and allowed just four hits over 7 1/3 innings of work in a 6-0 Tampa Bay win.

Bovada

The Indians could do no wrong in the month of September, posting the best record in all of baseball and racing away with the first Wild Card spot. They enter this contest red hot, having won 10 in a row to close out the regular season. It seemed everything the Indians did in the final week of the season turned into offense, as they scored a whopping 7.0 runs per game over their final seven contests. Second baseman Jason Kipnis was a catalyst for the offense in those seven games, going 13-for-28 in closing the seaosn on a seven-game hitting streak.

The Indians will send out rookie Danny Salazar with their season on the line. The team kept a close eye on Salazar over the final month of the season, not letting him reach 90 pitches in any of his starts. The 89 pitches he throw on Sept. 25 were the most he’s thrown since Aug. 7. The strategy worked out pretty well, as Salazar posted a 2.52 ERA in the month of September. Should Salazar not be able to get to pitch too far into the game, he’ll be backed by a revamped bullpen that now features former ace Justin Masterson.

As hot as the Indians have been, it’s tough to pick against a Rays team that just seems to find ways to win, and have won nine of 11 games themselves.

The Rays are 5-2 in the last seven meetings between these teams.

The play: Tampa Bay -111

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