Tampa Bay Rays versus Cleveland Indians (May 24)
The Tampa Bay Rays, second in the AL East, head to Cleveland for a weekend series with the Indians.
who are second in the AL Central. Charlie Morton is scheduled to pitch for the Rays and Shane Bieber will be on the mound for the Indians.
The Rays have been an average offensive team nearly a third of the way through the season.
They have a .251 batting average with 55 home runs and 4.4 runs scored per game.
Brandon Lane leads the team in both home runs (10) and RBI (27).
Yandy Diaz and Auston Meadows have each added nine home runs with a combined 45 RBI and Avisail Garcia has chipped in with seven home runs and 17 RBI.
The Indians have struggled all season at the plate, hitting just .225 with 48 home runs and have averaged just under four runs per game at 3.98.
Carlos Santana, in his return to Cleveland after a year in Philadelphia, leads the team with seven home runs and 27 RBI.
Francisco Lindor has the highest batting average at .290 and he, along with Eduardo Escobar and Roberto Perez, have each added six home runs.
Charlie Morton is having a very good season for the Rays, coming in at 4-0 with a 2.65 ERA.
He’s struck out 67 in 54 1/3 innings and has allowed only 40 hits and four home runs.
Diego Castillo and Jose Avlarado have combined to save ten with an ERA of 2.44 in 44 1/3 innings.
Jalen Beeks has been a workhorse, throwing 32 innings out of the pen with an ERA of 2.25. As team, the Rays have allowed only 3.2 runs per game.
Shane Bieber has also pitched well, entering the game with a 3-2 record and 3.22 ERA.
He’s struck out 69 in 58 2/3 innings, but has been touched a bit by the long ball, allowing ten home runs.
The Indians’ bull pen has been very good. Closer Brad Hand has 12 saves and an ERA of 1.42 in 19 innings.
Dan Oter, Adam Cimber and Nick Wittgram have a combined 2.45 ERA in 51 1/3 innings. The Indians have allowed 3.7 runs per game.
This game has all the makings of a pitcher’s dual.
Morton has been extremely tough to hit and the Indians have been woeful with the bats.
The Rays could get to Bieber, but most likely only via the long ball. That could be the difference in the game.
Expect a final score in the neighborhood of seven runs total or less in a 4-3 or 3-2 game in favor of Tampa Bay.
Best bet is for the “under” in this one.