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On Tuesday, the Chicago Cubs will host the Tampa Bay Rays in the second game of an intriguing interleague series. While the Rays have the best record in baseball going into this matchup, Chicago is a desperate team looking to work their way up the NL Central standings.
But with the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young award on the mound on Tuesday night, the Rays will like their chances to even this series with a victory. See our favorite MLB betting sites to get the best betting experience and baseball promos.
The Tampa Bay Rays dropped Monday’s series opener against the Chicago Cubs in a 1-0 pitcher’s duel. Tampa could not figure out Marcus Stroman of the Cubs, who threw a complete game shutout against the team with the best record in baseball. On Tuesday, the Rays will hope that it is their side that gets the better pitching performance, with Shane McClanahan set to take the mound for the Rays.
So far this season, McClanahan has been nearly untouchable, going 8-0 with an ERA of 1.97. His pitching so far this year has jettisoned him to the top of the list of AL Cy Young favorites, a position he will look to maintain with another brilliant performance here against the Cubs. The Rays ace has allowed more than two runs just once so far this season, and the Cubs could be in for a long day at the plate as a result.
Offensively, the Rays come into this game off of a real Jekyll and Hyde couple of days at the dish. They scored 11 runs in their win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, before being shut out by the Cubs on Monday. Something in between those two scores will likely be good enough to win this game on Tuesday night, as the team with the most runs in baseball entering Tuesday will aim to get back on track with their bats.
For the Chicago Cubs, things are slipping away this season, as they come into this contest in fourth place in the NL Central standings at 23-30. Before they beat the Rays in the first game of this series, they were swept over three games by the Cincinnati Reds. Here, the Cubs will look for a second straight pitching performance that can help them upset the team with the best record in baseball, though that may be hard to find from Kyle Hendricks.
Hendricks has pitched just 4.1 innings so far this season and is 0-1 with an ERA of 6.23 over that small sample size of innings. This game will be a baptism by fire for Hendricks, who could probably use a few starts against lesser competition to get back into the swing of things on the mound. Unfortunately, without that time to get back on track, he could really struggle against arguably the best lineup in the sport right now.
Prior to Stroman’s shutout against the Rays on Monday, Chicago had really been struggling as an entire pitching staff. During their four-game losing streak leading up to Monday’s win, the Cubs had allowed 35 runs over a four-game span, an average of just under nine runs per game. If the Cubs regress to that type of pitching after Stroman’s gem on Monday, this game could get out of hand in a hurry.
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Jay Sanin is a sports bettor and writer from New York. He has been handicapping since the moment he was old enough to gamble legally, with his specialties being niche sports like the WNBA and XFL. He’s been told he has a voice for radio. He also has a face for radio.More info on Jay Sanin
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