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Rangers vs. Rays 2023 MLB Wild Card Game 2 Odds and Preview

By Hank Blaine

The Texas Rangers stole Game 1 of their AL Wild Card Series at the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday and another win Wednesday would send the Rangers to the ALDS against the AL East champion Baltimore Orioles. However, the Rays are favored Wednesday to force a deciding Game 3.

Nitrobetting checks out the game in this preview. Get a complete look at the game information, team and player statistics, and the latest MLB odds. We also deliver timely betting trends and predictions that help you secure the best picks.

Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays 2023 MLB Wild Card Game 2 Information

  • When: Wednesday, October 4, 2023, 3:08 PM ET
  • Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
  • TV: ABC
  • Radio: 105.3 The Fan (Rangers) // WDAE 95.3 FM (Rays)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Odds: Rangers (+135) // Rays (-161)

Why bet on the Texas Rangers?

The Rangers’ 90 regular-season wins represented a 22-win improvement over 2022 (68-94), the third-largest year-to-year increase in wins (full seasons only) in Rangers history. The Rangers have a 4-7 all-time record in multi-game postseason series, going 3-1 in series with the home field advantage and 1-6 when not having home field advantage.

Shortstop Ezequiel Duran was left off the Wild Card roster. Duran was a revelation for the Rangers in the first half, but he faded badly after the All-Star break and hardly played down the stretch. The Rangers are carrying three catchers on their roster instead.

Tampa Bay left outfielder Luke Raley off its roster due to a neck injury. Raley was able to take batting practice Monday and seemed to come out of it with no issues, but the Rays have decided to hold him back for at least the first round of the postseason. He’s batting .249 with 19 HRs and 49 RBIs this year. Outfielder Jose Siri was on the roster and started Game 1 and was frankly terrible at the plate and in the field with two errors. He missed the final three weeks of the season or so with a hairline fracture in his right hand. The 28-year-old slugged 25 home runs and stole 12 bases for Tampa Bay this season.

The Rangers entered these playoffs with a 21-31 (.404) all-time in the postseason and their 6-game losing streak representing the 2nd-longest playoff skid in franchise history (0-9 from 1996-1999). However, that skid ended Tuesday with a 4-0 win in Game 1. Jordan Montgomery was the star with seven shutout innings. Rookie outfielder Evan Carter led the way with two doubles, two walks and a stolen base.

Texas is now 7-3 all-time against Tampa Bay in the postseason, including 6-0 at Tropicana Field. The Rays have now lost six consecutive postseason games, a streak that began with Game 2 of the 2021 ALDS vs. Boston. That’s a franchise-record losing streak. They had only six hits on Tuesday and committed four errors, plus a wild pitch that scored a run.

It’s right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (12-5) on the mound for Texas in Game 2. He pitched for the Rays briefly in 2018. Eovaldi allowed seven runs on five hits and two walks while striking out five over 3.1 innings to take the loss last Friday versus the Mariners in his final regular season outing.

The Rangers did all their damage in the third and fourth innings, sending Eovaldi to the showers early. Over six appearances in September after returning from a forearm strain, Eovaldi allowed 21 runs across 20.1 innings with a 21:13 K:BB. He finished with a 3.63 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 132:47 K:BB over 144 innings through 25 starts. Eovaldi was 2-0 this year vs. the Rays with a 2.92 ERA.

Why bet on the Tampa Bay Rays?

Tampa Bay had set club records in runs (860), home runs (230), RBI (827), slugging pct. (.445) and total bases (2,452) during the regular season. Six different Rays hitters recorded 20+ HR, the most in club history and tied with the Cubs and Phillies for the second most in the majors behind the Braves (7). Obviously there were no Rays homers in Game 1.

Right-hander Zach Eflin (16-8) starts for the Rays in Game 2. Eflin surrendered three runs across five innings last Tuesday in a win over the Red Sox in his RS finale. Eflin kept the Red Sox off the board until the fifth inning, when he allowed a three-run homer off the bat of Enmanuel Valdez. He quickly got the next three outs and was pulled. The 29-year-old was great in his first year with the Rays, posting a 3.50 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 186/24 K/BB ratio over 177 2/3 innings. His 16 wins were tied with Toronto’s Chris Bassitt for the AL lead while his 1.02 WHIP was second behind the Yankees’ Gerrit Cole (0.98).

Eflin made his lone career appearance against Texas in May 2017 while with the Phillies. He took the loss after allowing seven runs on 11 hits and two walks with one strikeout across 4.0 innings. The 11 hits allowed matched a career high (also 6/24/19 vs. NYM).

Rangers vs. Rays Betting Trends

  • Texas is 9-4 SU in the last 13 games.
  • Rangers are 5-1 SU in its last 6 games against Tampa Bay.
  • The total went under in 5 of Texas’ last 6 games.
  • Tampa Bay is 4-2 SU in the last 6 games.
  • Raya are 1-11 SU in its last 12 games played in October.
  • The total went over in 9 of Tampa Bay’s last 11 games.

Rangers vs. Rays 2023 MLB Wild Card Game 1 Betting Prediction

Rays 4, Rangers 3.

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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.