Guardians (56-60) at Ray’s (69-47) Game Preview | Friday 8/11 6:40 PM

August 11, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 1 of 3 Against the Tampa Bay Rays

3 Things Preview For Todays Game:

1 – Old Friend 

A familiar foe is on the bump for the Rays, it is Aaron Civale, who in his first start for the Rays lost against the Tigers.  It will be Xzavion Curry for the Guardians.  

2 – JRAM 

The Blue Jays series did not bring much success at the plate for the Guardians leader Jose Ramirez.  J-RAM went one for 13 against the Blue Jays and overall for the month of August he is only hitting for a .143 average.

3 – Rocchio 

On the other end, Brayan Rocchio had a good series at the plate against Toronto going five for twelve with 2 RBIs and overall for the month of August Rocchio is batting for a .308 average.  

Guardians Notes

The Guardians have faced challenges over the past week, losing four out of their last five games. This streak has caused them to fall 4.5 games behind Minnesota in the AL Central standings. In an attempt to narrow this gap, they are aiming for a victory against the Rays. A win would mark their second triumph in the last six games.

Cleveland has been averaging 3.99 runs per game, holding a batting average of .249, which ranks 18th in the league. Their on-base percentage stands at .311 (24th), while their slugging percentage is .378 (28th).

At the forefront of the Guardians’ offense is Josh Naylor, who leads the team with a batting average of .306 and has driven in 79 runs. On the home run front, Jose Ramirez holds the team lead with 18 homers.

On the pitching side, Cleveland’s performance has been commendable, allowing an average of 4.04 runs per game. Opposing teams have managed a batting average of .242 against the Guardians, positioning them 11th in the league. With a solid 3.77 ERA, they rank third, and their 1.27 WHIP places them 11th.

In the previous outing, Curry surrendered four hits and two runs across five innings, resulting in a 5-3 loss to the White Sox. To secure a victory in the upcoming game, a strong start from Curry will once again be crucial.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Curry (3-1) gets the starting nod for the Guardians in his fifth start of the season. He has a 2.95 ERA in 64 2/3 innings pitched, with 45 strikeouts.
  • The right-hander’s most recent appearance was on Sunday against the Chicago White Sox, when he tossed five innings, surrendering two earned runs while giving up four hits.
  • Curry has pitched five or more innings in a game two times this year entering this outing.
  • In 15 of his appearances this season he did not allow an earned run.
  • The Guardians were the money line underdog for one of Curry’s starts this season — they lost.
  • Curry’s team has a 1-3 record in his four starts.
  • Curry’s starts went over the run total two times in four games with a set total this season.


  • They have won 16 of the 21 games this season in which they hit two or more home runs.
  • In 21 games with five or more extra-base hits this season, it has a record of 16-5.
  • They have a record of 38-31 this season when collecting eight or more base hits in a game.
  • Cleveland has a 33-8 record this season when scoring five or more runs in a game.
  • They have won 16 of their 27 games this season in which they’ve drawn more than four free passes.

Rays Notes

The Rays have displayed strong performance in the past week, securing victories in six of their recent nine games. They aim to maintain this positive momentum by prevailing over the Guardians. This victory would mark their seventh triumph in the last ten games and grant them the upper hand in the series.

Tampa Bay has been averaging 5.18 runs per game. Their batting average of .259 positions them ninth in the league rankings. Their on-base percentage of .328 ranks eighth, while their slugging percentage of .446 holds the fourth position.

Yandy Diaz holds the highest batting average among the Rays at .318. Jose Siri leads the team with 23 home runs, and Isaac Paredes has taken the lead in RBI with a count of 67.

The pitching performance of Tampa Bay has been commendable, conceding an average of 3.91 runs per game. Opposing teams have managed a batting average of .229 against the Rays, placing them at the forefront of the league in this aspect. Their earned run average (ERA) stands at 3.79, securing the fifth position, and their walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) at 1.19 ranks second.

In the recent outing, Civale allowed nine hits and three runs across 4.1 innings, resulting in a 4-2 loss to Detroit. A more robust performance will be required from him to secure the win for the team.

Rays Stats and Insights


  • When Civale starts, his team is 8-6-0 against the spread this season.
  • The right-hander’s last appearance was on Saturday, when he threw 4 1/3 innings against the Detroit Tigers, giving up three earned runs while allowing nine hits.
  • Civale has started 14 games this season, and he’s lasted five or more innings 12 times. He averages 5.8 innings per appearance.
  • He has four appearances with no earned runs allowed in 14 chances this season.
  • Civale’s team has won 60% of his starts when they are favored on the money line (6-4).
  • Civale’s team has won seven of his 14 starts this season.
  • Out of Civale’s 14 starts with a total this season, six have hit the over.


  • The Rays have racked up two or more round-trippers in 52 games this season, and are 38-14 in those contests.
  • Tampa Bay has gone 27-3 in its 30 games this season with five or more extra-base hits.
  • The team has put up at least eight hits 78 times this season and has a 52-26 record in those games.
  • Tampa Bay is 50-18 in games this season when it scored five or more runs.
  • The Rays have gone 21-7 over the 28 games this season when they have drawn at least five walks.

Final Thoughts/Pick

The Rays have emerged victorious in six out of their most recent nine matches. Their offensive prowess has been evident as they amassed a total of 18 runs across the last trio of games. Anticipate a strong offensive performance from them in the upcoming game, particularly due to their impressive track record against right-handed pitchers. Adding to this, Curry, who has predominantly been utilized as a reliever this season, has shown vulnerability on the mound in recent outings, surrendering four runs over his last 11 innings.

Considering Cleveland’s bullpen has also faced challenges in recent matchups, it’s likely they will struggle to contain the Rays in this game. The Guardians, on the other hand, have encountered difficulties, losing four out of their last five games and five out of their last six games on the road. Their offensive struggles have been evident, managing a mere two runs across their past three games. Unfortunately for them, these offensive woes are anticipated to persist in the upcoming game. Civale, acquired from Cleveland during the trade deadline, has showcased strong performances on the pitching mound this season, allowing just six runs in his last four starts. Even though he conceded five runs in his previous three home starts, he’s projected to keep the Guardians’ offense in check.

Taking all factors into account, it’s advisable to favor Tampa Bay to cover the run line in this match.

Our Pick: Take Rays and the Run Line (-1.5)

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