MLB

MLB Win Total Betting: How Many Games Will the Rays Win in 2024?

Zack Bussiere
Zack Bussiere@ZackBussiere

For the Tampa Bay Rays, it’s been a long offseason of wondering where it all went wrong in 2023. After a historic start, the Rays season ended with a disappointing Wild Card series loss to the Texas Rangers.

Tampa Bay has made the playoffs in five consecutive seasons but has made the World Series just once during that span and is still searching for the first World Series crown in franchise history.

After a busy offseason that included trading ace pitcher Tyler Glasnow to Los Angeles Dodgers, what is Tampa Bay’s win total set at for 2024, per the MLB win totals at FanDuel Sportsbook?

The Tampa Bay Rays' win total is listed at 84.5, with -115 odds on the over.

Let's dig into what we can expect from Tampa Bay this year and which side of the win total should interest you.

All MLB odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook. Lines may change after this article is published. nERD via numberFire. Projections via FanGraphs.

Tampa Bay Rays Win Total Odds

Tampa Bay Rays Over/Under 84.5 Wins

  • Over: -115
  • Under: -105

Why Tampa Bay Could Win Over 84.5 Games (-115)

Despite the disappointing ending to their season, the Rays were one of the best teams in baseball in 2023, and they project to be one of the best teams in baseball again in 2024. The Rays' loss to the Rangers surely stung, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that Tampa Bay has been one of the most consistent franchises in the majors in recent history.

The loss of Glasnow will have an impact, but as is usually the case with the Rays, Tampa has a plan in place to address his departure. FanGraphs projects Ryan Pepiot for 1.1 WAR in 2024, well below Glasnow’s 3.2 WAR from last season but still a beneficial starter. If he stays healthy, Pepiot can be part of the solution.

At the plate, FanGraphs expects the Rays to take a step back this season. After scoring 5.31 runs per game in 2023, Tampa is at a projection of 4.66 runs per game in 2024, which ranks just 15th in baseball. For that reason, pitching will be critical to the Rays' chances of winning more than 84.5 games.

Success on the mound will depend on how Tampa navigates the first half of the season without a trio of pitchers who are expected to miss considerable time. Shane McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen, and Jeffrey Springs will all open the season on the injured list, with the latter two not expected to return until July-August. McClanahan, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, might not play in 2024. For that reason, the early-season success of Zach Eflin, Aaron Civale, Zack Littell, Taj Bradley, and Pepiot will be critical.

The good news is, FanGraphs’ projections believe this will be an excellent starting rotation, with the five combining for an expected WAR of 9.3. They project the Rays to allow 4.33 runs per game, second-fewest in the majors.

Overall, the Rays are expected to finish with a +52 run differential and 86 wins, both fifth-best in baseball. numberFire's nERD has the Rays at +0.36, 10th-best in the league, with a projected record of 88-74. Both projections favor the over on this current total of 84.5 wins.

In an extremely competitive AL East, margins will be small for the Rays, but they still project as a quality team. They have recorded over 84.5 wins in every season since 2017 (their .667 win percentage in 2020’s shortened season had them on pace for 108.1 wins).

Why Tampa Bay Could Win Under 84.5 Games (-105)

At some point, consistently trying to be the team that does more with less will result in an underwhelming season. There are several reasons why that might finally happen to the Rays in 2024.

First, the overall strength of the AL East will make everything more difficult. In 2023, only one team in the division -- the Boston Red Sox -- finished below .500. In 2024, FanGraphs projects the entire division to finish with at least 81 wins and a positive run differential -- the only division where this is the case. The ascension of the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays over the past three seasons has made life in the AL East exceedingly difficult.

Second, the expected decline in the Rays’ runs scored per game -- something that is partially fueled by the loss of Wander Franco -- makes their margin for error on the mound extremely small. With Tampa Bay expected to regress to a league-average offense, their ability to separate from the pack will depend heavily on their pitching. The four teams that have higher projected win totals -- per FanGraphs -- than the Rays are all expected to score at least 4.96 runs per game. The Rays are the only team with a projected top five run differential that doesn't rank inside the top seven on both sides of the ball. Their 4.66 projected runs per game ranks last in the AL East.

Third, the Rays’ injuries and a major offseason departure introduce uncertainty to their pitching staff. When you’re expected to rely on your run prevention to be a difference maker, it’s not ideal to enter a season without two of your top three starters. With Glasnow in Los Angeles and McClanahan on the shelf, Tampa will be missing two starters who finished second and third in WAR for them in 2023. The AL East -- where every team other than the Rays ranks inside the top 13 in projected runs -- is an unforgiving place for short-handed pitching staffs.

It all adds up to a very tricky season for the Rays as they will once again try to compete at the highest level without spending as much as their competition does. They find a way to do it successfully most seasons, but it might catch up to Tampa Bay this year.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.