Apple TV+ will host Friday’s matchup between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Minnesota Twins with first pitch set for 8:10 p.m. ET at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Drew Rasmussen will throw for the Rays with Devin Smeltzer on the mound for the Twins.
Tampa Bay (34-23) swept the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this week, though the Rays are unfortunately in a division with the New York Yankees, who are 7 games ahead in the American League East. Rasmussen made 11 starts this season with a 3.02 ERA, coming off an outing where he threw 7 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts against the Chicago White Sox. Tampa Bay ranks 25th in on-base percentage, and Yandy Diaz leads the team with a .418 OBP.
Minnesota (33-26) lost two of three games against the New York Yankees going into this weekend but remains at the top of the AL Central standings. Smeltzer made five starts this season and has a 1.93 ERA, allowing 2 or fewer runs in each outing of 2022. The Twins have the fourth-best on-base percentage with Luis Arraez leading the way with a .447 OBP.
Rays vs. Twins
Odds, picks & predictions
Run line: Rays -1.5 (+160)
Run total: 8.5
Moneyline odds: Twins -120, Rays +100
Moneyline pick: Twins -120
Both pitchers are off to strong starts in 2022 and when runs could be hard to come by, let’s go with the better offensive team. Minnesota has a much better OPS where the Twins rank No. 6, and the Rays are 24th. This is that stat that gives Minnesota the upper hand in this spot heading into Friday night.
Player prop pick: Devin Smeltzer Over 2.5 strikeouts (-120)
The Twins starter has an extremely low strikeout rate this season in a limited sample size of five starts and has a 4.2 K/9 over 28 innings of work. However, this is such a low over/under, and he should get to 3 strikeouts if he is able to go long enough against an offense that ranks 15th in strikeouts per game.
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