Guardians (56-61) at Ray’s (70-47) Game Preview | Saturday 8/12 4:10 PM

August 12, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 2 of 3 Against the Tampa Bay Rays

3 Things Preview For Todays Game:

1 – Gaga for Gavin

Gavin Williams does not have a win this month, but that does not mean he’s not pitching well, as his August ERA is at 1.50.  Williams is on the bump today for the Guards.

2 – Rocchio

So far, in a small sample size, Brayan Rocchio looks like he might be a hitter as he has at least one hit in seven of his nine games played in August, and he has an average of .300 for the month currently.

3 – AL Central Check In

Even with the loss last night, the Guards are still only three games out in the loss column to the Twins.

Guardians Notes

Cleveland finds itself with a record that’s five games below the .500 mark, yet remains only 3.5 games behind the leading team in the AL Central division. Is there a chance for them to surpass Minnesota and claim the top spot?

The Guardians’ offense averages 3.99 runs per game, ranking 27th, and maintains a batting average of .248 (18th), accompanied by a .689 OPS (26th). Their power-hitting has resulted in 84 home runs (30th), while their agility on the bases is evident with 95 stolen bases (7th) in the 2023 season. On the pitching front, the Cleveland staff boasts an impressive 3.77 ERA (3rd) along with a 1.27 WHIP (13th), and they’ve achieved 42 quality starts (12th).

Taking the mound for the Guardians on Saturday will be Gavin Williams. In his previous outing, the young right-handed pitcher shut down Toronto, throwing seven scoreless innings while surrendering only one hit and striking out an impressive 12 batters. Over his last five appearances, he has conceded a combined total of five runs in 25.0 innings pitched.

Guardians Stats and Insights



  • The Guardians have played 117 games and are currently ranked 26th in the league, averaging 4 runs per game. Cleveland ranks 27th in home runs, (85) and has a collective batting average of .248, including .242 on the road and .242 at home.

Rays Notes

Tampa Bay dropped two of three to St. Louis in its last series, falling three games behind Baltimore in the AL East. Can it climb back to the top of the division standings before the end of the season?

The Rays average 5.15 runs (4th) and hit .255 (10th) with a .771 OPS (5th). They’ve hit 170 home runs (4th) and stolen 123 bases (2nd) in 2023. The TB pitching staff has posted a 3.80 ERA (4th) and a 1.19 WHIP (2nd) with 38 quality starts (17th).

Shawn Armstrong has a record of 0-0 as he takes the mound. This season, he has made 21 appearances leading to an ERA of 1.15, and has allowed a batting average of .180. Additionally, he has given up one home run and has an OPS of .477.

Pitching only two innings and giving up zero runs in his last outing, Shawn Armstrong did factor into the decision. The Rays ultimately fell to the Cardinals by a score of 6-4.

Rays Stats and Insights



  • The Rays have played 118 games so far and have an average of 5.2 runs per game, putting them 4th in the league. Tampa Bay has hit 172 home runs, ranking them 4th in the MLB. Their overall batting average is .254 while hitting .251 on the road and .248 at home.

Final Thoughts/Pick

Tampa hasn’t faced the rookie Williams before, but that doesn’t deter me from betting on them to cover the spread. TB scores 5.1 runs per game at home and has responded to a nightmarish performance at the plate in July with a stronger start to August. This may not be a blowout win, but with the run line at -1.5, it doesn’t need to be too lopsided for the Rays RL to cash.

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

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