MLB Over/Under Bet of the Day: May 5, Rays vs Mariners

MLB: Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners
Apr 15, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Robbie Ray (38) holds his 2021 Cy Young Award during a ceremony with general manager Jerry Depot, right, before a game against the Houston Astros at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Over/Under Bet of the Day

Tampa Bay Rays at Seattle Mariners

Over/Under: 7

First pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET

Probable pitchers: Shane McClanahan (1-2, 3.00 ERA) vs. Robbie Ray (2-1, 4.15 ERA)

Apr 18, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA;Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan (18) shows the ball against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Pretty surprised to see the over/under here settle in at 7 instead of 6.5 given the current deflated hitting around baseball. These are two very good starting pitchers set to kick off this series in Seattle tonight.

Robbie Ray, of course, is the reigning American League Cy Young after going 13-7 with a 2.84 ERA and 1.04 WHIP a year ago. He crafted a convincing award-winning campaign by leading the Majors with 248 strikeouts and cuffing hitters to a .210 average — second-lowest in the AL.

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That 4.15 ERA currently next to his name may not be impressive considering what we’ve become accustomed to from the 30-year-old but that could be attributed to one outing where he got hit by a good lineup (White Sox). Otherwise, Ray is still looking good, pitching his new club into the sixth inning or deeper in all five starts and yielding three runs or fewer in all but one of them. That’s perfectly acceptable.

Maybe the most glaring thing about Ray’s season so far is that his strikeout rate (7.8 k/9) is notably down from years’ past, which could be a result of decreased velocity. However, since he’s still throwing harder than he was in 2019 (when he registered a career-best 12.13 K/9), I wouldn’t fret yet about the drop in strikeouts. Besides, he accumulated eight punch-outs last time out in five frames, so perhaps he’s returning to a normal groove.

He definitely has the right matchup to continue on an inevitable K’s binge. Ray regularly dominates whenever he sees the team baring his last name, at least based on his eight career meetings opposite Tampa. In those starts, Ray compiled a pretty 2.77 ERA and 1.05 WHIP along with 12.58 K/9 and a really harmless .217 BAA.

Ray should enjoy this encounter and so, too, should his counterpart. Shane McClanahan has established himself quickly and is poised for more solid work.

McClanahan has been so terrific to begin his second tour of duty in the bigs that he currently leads all qualified starting pitchers with 14 K/9 through five outings. Last year, he recorded an impressive 10.29 K/9 as a rookie in 123.1 innings, including a season-high-tying eight strikeouts when he saw Seattle last year. Remarkably, McClanahan has punched out at least seven in each assignment.

A repeat occurrence could be in the making here. The Mariners are slumping against lefties, hitting only .214 in this department so far. Last year, their .231 average against lefties was dead last in the AL, and the year before, they hit a putrid .190, also ranking them last. Not only that, they finished either first or second in team strikeouts with a left-hander on the hill in the last two seasons.

Ray might be the more known commodity of the two starters this evening but the way McClanahan is running, he could soon be surpassing his fellow southpaw. If anything, that means another solid game for Tampa’s rapidly-emerging left-hander.


2022 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “15-9-3,” +4.88 units

Yesterday’s Result: Diamondbacks-Marlins Under 7.5 (“loss”)

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit