Atlanta Braves vs Tampa Bay Rays Picks and Predictions June 16th 2024

Atlanta Braves vs Tampa Bay Rays MLB Sun, Jun 16, 13:35 pm.
Atlanta Braves
ML: -125
6
8
Tampa Bay Rays
ML: 105
-

Braves Find Power Stroke, Go for Sweep of Rays

The Atlanta Braves have found their home run groove just in time to take on the Tampa Bay Rays, winning the first two games with a barrage of homers. As the Braves eye a series sweep on Sunday, the Rays are dealing with pitching troubles and a clubhouse illness. Key performances and strategic depth will be crucial for both teams in the series finale.


Braves’ Offensive Resurgence

Home Run Barrage

The Braves have been on fire, smashing six home runs in the first two games of the series. Marcell Ozuna and Austin Riley have been leading the charge, each hitting homers in both games. Ozuna now tops the National League with 20 home runs and 62 RBIs, while Riley broke a career-long homerless streak, adding to the Braves’ offensive firepower.

Manager’s Insight

“These guys are just a bunch of good hitters,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker. “It was just a matter of time before they got going, and unfortunately for the Rays, it happened while they’re here.”


Rays’ Pitching Struggles

Home Run Allowance

Tampa Bay’s pitchers have had a rough time keeping the ball in the park, leading the majors in home runs allowed this season. This inability to contain the Braves’ power hitters has been a major factor in their recent losses. Rays’ manager Kevin Cash acknowledged the issue: “Offensively we’re just scuffling right now, and our pitchers are having trouble keeping the ball in the park.”

Offensive Woes

The Rays’ offense hasn’t been much better, with the fewest home runs in the American League. Despite Yandy Diaz extending his on-base streak to 18 games and Randy Arozarena breaking a 26-game homerless streak, the team’s overall performance hasn’t been enough.


Pitching Matchup: Eflin vs. Waldrep

Zach Eflin’s Strength

Zach Eflin (3-4, 4.06 ERA) will start for the Rays. Eflin has a strong track record against the Braves, with a 7-3 record and a 3.14 ERA in 17 appearances. His familiarity and success against Atlanta will be crucial for Tampa Bay’s chances.

Hurston Waldrep’s Potential

Rookie Hurston Waldrep (0-1, 17.18 ERA) will make his second major league start for the Braves. Waldrep struggled in his debut but showed promise with three scoreless innings before tiring. Snitker remains optimistic: “His command was decent. It’s just a matter of knowing your opposition.”


Impact of Illness and Injuries

Rays’ Challenges

The Rays are dealing with a clubhouse illness affecting player availability. Jose Caballero and Taylor Walls missed recent games, impacting the team’s depth and performance. Cash noted, “It’s challenging, but we’ve got to push through it.”

Braves’ Roster Moves

Atlanta has adapted by signing veteran outfielder Ramon Laureano to cover for Michael Harris II, who is on the injured list with a left hamstring strain. Laureano made an immediate impact with a hit in his debut, showing the Braves’ strategic depth.


Conclusion

The Atlanta Braves’ offensive resurgence and strategic depth put them in a strong position to sweep the Tampa Bay Rays. Key performances from Marcell Ozuna and Austin Riley, along with effective roster adjustments, have fueled their recent success. The Rays must overcome pitching challenges and illness-related setbacks to compete in the series finale. The game promises to be a closely contested battle as both teams strive for dominance.

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
Sat, Jun 15, 18:44 pm.
spread
moneyline
over/under
Atlanta Braves
-1.5
155
-125
O 9
-110
Tampa Bay Rays
+1.5
-190
105
U 9
-110
Dan Jones | Handicapper

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Dan, joining you from New Haven, with a vision to secure financial success far beyond the court. While I root for the Boston Celtics, my strategies are designed to foster growth and stability for teams in every league.

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