Tigers vs Rays Prediction, Odds & Best Bet for Opening Day (Detroit Struggles to Score at Tropicana Field)

Detroit Tigers vs Tampa Bay Rays prediction, odds and betting insights for MLB Opening Day.
Detroit Tigers vs Tampa Bay Rays prediction, odds and betting insights for MLB Opening Day. / AP Photos/Jess Rapfogel

Tigers vs. Rays Game Info

  • Date: Thursday, March 30, 2023
  • Time: 3:10 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Tropicana Field -- St. Petersburg, FL
  • Coverage: BS-DET and BS-SUN

The 2023 MLB season kicks off with an Opening Day matchup between the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays. These teams met head-to-head seven times last season and the Rays emerged victorious in five of those games. The contest lines up as a mismatch with a rebuilding squad and a contender.

Both teams will be sending their ace to to the mound as Detroit hands the ball to Eduardo Rodriguez (69-44 career record), while Tampa Bay opts to send Shane McClanahan (2.92 career ERA) out in front of the home crowd. Which team will start the new campaign with an exciting victory?

Tigers vs. Rays Odds & Spread

  • All MLB betting lines, odds and prop bets are from FanDuel Sportsbook.
  • Moneyline: DET: (+190) | TB: (-230)
  • Spread: DET: +1.5 (-126) | TB: -1.5 (+105)
  • Total: 7 -- Over: (-105) | Under: (-115)

The Rays enter this American League matchup as home favorites on the spread and moneyline at FanDuel Sportsbook. This game also has a projected total of 7 runs, which is on the lower side for Thursday's games.

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Tigers vs. Rays Betting Trends

  • Detroit is 1-5 straight up in its last six games against Tampa Bay.
  • The total has hit the over in 16 of Detroit's last 20 away games.
  • Tampa Bay is 2-5 straight up in its last seven home games.
  • The total has hit the under in six of Tampa Bay's last seven games.

Tigers vs. Rays Prediction & Pick

The Tigers have not made the playoffs since 2014 and saw their win total fall from 2021 (77) to 2022 (66). The roster consists of a few great young pros (Riley Greene & Spencer Torkelson), but it lacks depth when it comes to pitching. The duo of Rodriguez and Matt Boyd is not a scary one-two punch.

On the other side, the Rays have always found a way to bring out the best in their pitchers. Tampa Bay ranked fourth in both team ERA (3.38) and WHIP (1.14) last year and added Zach Eflin in free agency. McClanahan logged a 2.54 ERA in 2022 and will be followed by a bullpen full of established arms.

The Rays have a clear advantage on the mound, which will make all the difference considering neither organization is exactly stellar at the plate. Tampa Bay has won four of its last six Opening Day games and posted a 51-30 home record last season. Detroit was a dismal 30-50 on the road last summer.

Final Score Prediction: Tigers: 2 | Rays: 5

Tigers vs. Rays Best Bet

Grabbing the Rays to win by more than a single run at +105 odds seems like a steal. All five of Tampa Bay's wins against Detroit last season came by at least 2 runs and four of those wins came by at least 4 runs. The Tigers averaged a putrid 3.40 runs per away game in 2022 (No. 29 in MLB) and did little to upgrade the lineup during the offseason. Detroit is going to struggle to score on Thursday afternoon.

Bet: Tampa Bay Rays -1.5 (+105)

Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.