Tampa Bay Rays vs Chicago Cubs Picks and Predictions June 11th 2024

Tampa Bay Rays vs Chi. Cubs Cubs MLB Tue, Jun 11, 18:50 pm.
Tampa Bay Rays
ML: -135
Chi. Cubs Cubs
ML: 110

Cubs Hit St. Petersburg: A Critical Showdown Against the Rays

Heading back to St. Petersburg, Fla., after nearly seven years, the Chicago Cubs are on a mission. They’re eager to build momentum in the tight National League Central race. With three teams trailing the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers by seven games, the Cubs have a lot riding on their upcoming three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays, starting Tuesday night.

Cubs’ Challenges and Opportunities in the NL Central

The Cubs are heading into this series with a 4-4 record in June, making this a pivotal matchup. Historically, they’ve struggled against the Rays, with an 8-11 record. Their last game in Florida was a loss back on September 20, 2017. In the six games played at Tampa Bay’s home since then, the Cubs have split the series 3-3. Both teams, hovering around .500 through 66 games this season, see this series as a prime chance to turn their seasons around.

Cubs’ Catcher Conundrum

One major concern for Cubs manager Craig Counsell is the lackluster offensive output from his catchers, Yan Gomes and Miguel Amaya. Gomes, a career .246 hitter, is batting just .155 with two home runs and six RBIs in 30 games. Amaya isn’t faring much better, hitting .198 with two home runs and 14 RBIs over 46 contests.

“We need better offense from our catchers to have a good lineup,” Counsell remarked. “Having spots in your lineup that aren’t producing stops rallies.”

Rays’ Recent Slump

The Rays, in the midst of a seven-game homestand, are reeling from a four-game sweep by the Baltimore Orioles, capped by a 5-2 loss on Monday night. Tampa Bay managed only five hits in the series finale and has slumped to 6-13 in their last 19 games. Since May 8, their home record has been a disappointing 4-13.

“Not good, not what we needed,” Rays manager Kevin Cash commented after the sweep. “We’re capable. We’re just not putting it all together yet.”

Pitching Matchups: The Series’ Deciding Factor

The Cubs will be without their ace, Shota Imanaga, who has been stellar with a 6-1 record, a 1.96 ERA, and a 1.03 WHIP over 69 innings. Instead, Jameson Taillon will take the mound. Taillon, sporting a 3-2 record with a 3.47 ERA this season, is seeking his first win since May 4. In his latest outing, he gave up five runs and 10 hits in five innings against the Chicago White Sox.

Taillon has a solid history against the Rays, with a 3-2 record and a 2.60 ERA over six career starts.

The Rays will counter with Zach Eflin, who has a 3-4 record and a 4.14 ERA this season. Eflin is coming off his shortest outing of the year, a 55-pitch, four-inning no-decision against the Miami Marlins. Despite his recent struggles, Eflin has performed well against the Cubs, posting a 2-1 record with a 2.63 ERA in six starts.

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Key Players to Watch

Chicago Cubs

  • Jameson Taillon: His ability to bounce back from recent struggles will be crucial.
  • Yan Gomes and Miguel Amaya: Improved performance at the plate is essential for the Cubs’ offensive strategy.
  • Nico Hoerner: Consistent performance and leadership on the field.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • Zach Eflin: A strong rebound is needed to stabilize the Rays’ pitching.
  • Randy Arozarena: Offensive production to ignite the Rays’ lineup.
  • Wander Franco: Defensive and offensive contributions will be key.

Fan Perspectives and Expectations

Fans of both the Cubs and Rays are eagerly anticipating this series. For the Cubs, it’s a chance to show resilience and climb up the division standings. For the Rays, it’s about snapping their recent losing streak and making the most of their home-field advantage.


This series between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays is more than just a set of games; it’s a crucial juncture in the season for both teams. With the Cubs looking to gain ground in their division and the Rays aiming to end their losing streak, fans can expect a competitive and high-stakes series.

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Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
Mon, Jun 10, 23:05 pm.
Tampa Bay Rays
O 7.5
Chi. Cubs Cubs
U 7.5
Marco D'Angelo | Handicapper

Free Picks found on WagerTalk. Marco D’Angelo is part of the WagerTalk Group.

Marco D’Angelo has been a professional sports handicapper and bettor since 1980.

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