Tampa Bay Rays vs Cleveland Indians
Date and Time: Thursday, July 8,2021 12:00AM
Venue: Tropicana Field Saint Petersburg, FL
Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays
Bookmaker: 1xbet

The Cleveland Indians battled the Tampa Bay Rays in a seven-inning doubleheader from Tropicana Field. A struggling Sam Hentges will look to put a few rough outings behind him for the Tribe. The Rays are sending Josh Fleming to the hill. Tampa Bay posted a 9-8 victory in Monday’s season series opener.

Cleveland is in danger of falling out of contention in the AL Central. They have plummeted six games back of Chicago after losing eight out of their last nine games. The good news is pitchers Zach Plesac and Shane Bieber are nearing their return to action.

The Rays need more from Manuel Margot. The 26-year old right fielder only tallied 11 RBI’s in June and has rebounded with three so far this month. Margot has nine homers and 44 RBI’s although his OPS is below average at .700. He went 4 for 4 at the plate in Monday’s win. Unfortunately, Margot is expected to head to the IL.

The Indians continue to deal with a ton of pitching injuries. While not officially announced, they are expected to send Sam Hentges to the mound. The rookie is struggling, surrendering six runs in back-to-back starts and his numbers are as bad as you’ll see as the southpaw owns an 8.22 ERA and a 2.06 WHIP.

Furthermore, the Rays are much better at home where they have won five out of their last six games. Cleveland is slipping in a big way, losing seven consecutive games and the offense is in a slump, posting three or fewer runs in all but one of those bouts. The Rays will have Josh Fleming pitching bulk innings. The southpaw has allowed three or fewer runs in all but three outings this season.

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