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Cardinals vs. Rays: Picks, predictions, how to watch Thursday’s game

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

St. Louis Cardinals v. Chicago Cubs Photo by Jeffrey Phelps/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays square off on Thursday with first pitch set for 1:10 p.m. ET. The game takes place at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida and will only be available on local TV or through an MLB.tv subscription. Miles Mikolas will start for the Cardinals with Shane McClanahan throwing for the Rays.

St. Louis (32-25) lost the first two games of this series and will look to avoid a sweep Thursday afternoon. Mikolas made 11 starts this season and has a 3.02 ERA going into this matchup. The Cardinals are one of the best hitting teams in the league with the fourth-most runs per game, and Paul Goldschmidt leads the team with 47 RBIs.

Tampa Bay (33-23) will go for the sweep, coming off an 11-3 victory where they pounded out 18 runs. McClanahan is having another strong season in Year 2 in the MLB with a 2.10 ERA over his first 11 starts. The Rays rank 23rd in in on-base percentage, but Yandy Diaz continues to get on base at an incredibly high rate with a .424 OBP going into Thursday.

Cardinals vs. Rays

Pitchers: Miles Mikolas vs. Shane McClanahan
First pitch: 1:10 p.m. ET
Cardinals local broadcast: Bally Sports Midwest
Rays local broadcast: Bally Sports Sun
Live stream: MLB.tv (subscription)

Odds, picks & predictions

Run line: Rays -1.5 (+125)
Run total: 7
Moneyline odds: Rays -180, Cardinals +155

Moneyline pick: Cardinals +155

Mikolas struggled through his last couple of starts, allowing 10 earned runs over 5.2 innings of work, but those are the outliers considering how good his overall numbers have been this season. The Cardinals have a significant offensive advantage in this matchup, so there is plenty of value to be had with St. Louis with plus odds.

Player prop pick: Shane McClanahan Under 7.5 strikeouts (-170)

McClanahan is putting up fantastic numbers early on in his career including significant strikeout totals. However, he will go up against a Cardinals offense that gets plenty of contact. St. Louis averages the fifth-fewest K’s per game, and McClanahan will fall short of this total.

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