The Rangers lead the American League West while the Rays are just a game back of the Yankees in the American League East. The series begins on Monday with one of the best pitching matchups of the season in baseball odds as Cliff Lee goes for the Rangers against Tampa’s David Price.
Baseball lines actually list the game on Monday as a pick even though the Rangers are on the road. Cliff Lee gets a lot of respect from the odds makers and it is rare when he is ever an underdog. The Rangers have been a very good team at home and on the road they are decent at 28-26. The Rangers are one of just a few teams in the league that can boast a top 10 offense and a top 10 pitching staff. They are 3rd in the league in runs scored at almost five per game and their pitching is 8th best in the league with an ERA of 3.81.
Tampa Bay is another team that has a top ten offense and a top ten defense. In fact, they have even better numbers than the Rangers overall. They are fourth in the league in runs scored and sixth in ERA. The difference between Texas and Tampa Bay is that the Rays have been just as good on the road as they have been at home. The Rays are 36-24 at home versus the baseball odds and 35-22 on the road.
Both the Rangers and the Rays are probably going to make the playoffs. This series could easily be a preview of the American League Playoffs. The game on Monday could be a preview of Game 1. Lee is unquestionably the top starter for Texas while Price is the top pitcher for Tampa Bay. It should be a pitcher’s duel on Monday night in Tampa, but with these two offenses you just never know. The Rangers are coming off a series against the Red Sox where they proved they can beat one of the best teams in the league. They will get another test against the Rays beginning on Monday.