Rays vs. Rangers Wild Card Series Preview

Zack Bussiere
Zack Bussiere@ZackBussiere
Rays vs. Rangers Wild Card Series Preview

After a drama-filled conclusion to the regular season last weekend, the MLB Postseason is officially set.

The Tampa Bay Rays will take on the Texas Rangers in an American League Wild Card showdown.

The series gets underway on Tuesday with Game 1 in Tampa.

Here's how the Rays and Rangers stack up heading into their Wild Card Series.

All MLB odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.

Rays vs. Rangers Wild Card Series: Moneyline, Total Games, and Correct Score

  • Series Moneyline:
    • Rays: -170
    • Rangers: +138
  • Total Games:
    • 2 (-118)
    • 3 (-102)
  • Correct Score:
    • Rays 2-0 (+184)
    • Rays 2-1 (+250)
    • Rangers 2-1 (+320)
    • Rangers 2-0 (+360)

Rays vs. Rangers Advanced Stats Breakdown

nERD via numberFire. Advanced statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.

  • Rays:
    • W-L Record: 99-63 (4th)
    • Run Differential: +195 (3rd)
    • Home Record: 53-28
    • Away Record: 46-35
    • nERD: 1.79 (1st)
    • Offensive Stats:
      • HRs: 230 (6th)
      • wOBA: .335 (4th)
      • SLG: .445 (4th)
      • BB%: 8.3% (23rd)
      • K%: 23.0% (16th)
    • Pitching Stats:
      • SIERA: 3.78 (2nd)
      • xFIP: 3.84 (1st)
      • K%: 25.1% (2nd)
      • BB%: 7.3% (3rd-best)
  • Rangers:
    • W-L Record: 90-72 (6th)
    • Run Differential: +165 (4th)
    • Home Record: 50-31
    • Away Record: 40-41
    • nERD: 0.99 (8th)
    • Offensive Stats:
      • HRs: 233 (4th)
      • wOBA: .340 (3rd)
      • SLG: .452 (3rd)
      • BB%: 9.5% (5th)
      • K%: 22.5% (15th)
    • Pitching Stats:
      • SIERA: 4.24 (18th)
      • xFIP: 4.35 (18th)
      • K%: 22.4% (21st)
      • BB%: 8.1% (11th-best)

Rays vs. Rangers Wild Card Series Analysis

This showdown between two sides with top-six records in the league is more fitting for a League Champions Series than a Wild Card clash, but here we are.

After their historic start to the season, the Rays were eventually overtaken by an exceptional Baltimore Orioles side. Tampa Bay finished second in the AL East despite having the fourth-best record in baseball and the second-best record in the American League.

The Rangers stumbled at the final hurdle, dropping three of their last four to the Seattle Mariners to lose the AL West crown -- and a first-round bye -- to the Houston Astros. Houston won their final four games of the season to secure the shocking comeback.

Neither team has time to look back at what could have been. This marquee Wild Card meeting will see one team's hopes of a World Series dashed immediately.

As it stands, the Rays (-170) are the favorites to win the series. While they are a slightly worse side on offense than Texas, the Rays hold a sizable advantage on the mound. The Rangers rank outside the top 15 in SIERA, xFIP, and K%. Max Scherzer could help change that, but he is still recovering from a muscle strain in his upper arm and is unlikely to pitch this postseason.

Still, the Rangers' lineup has firepower from top to bottom and presents an intriguing matchup for the Rays' arms.

That said, the Rays are favorites to win Game 1 (-152), the series, and have the fifth-best odds to win the World Series (+1200). Of the 12 postseason hopefuls, the Rangers have the fourth-worst odds to win the whole thing (+2000).

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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.