Rangers vs. Rays prediction and odds for Game 1 of AL Wild Card

Breaking down a full betting preview for Game 1 of the American League Wild Card between the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays.

Oct 1, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Adolis Garcia (53) hits a single
Oct 1, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Adolis Garcia (53) hits a single / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

In a surprising (and unfortunate) turn of events on the final day of the regular season, the Texas Rangers went from having a first round BYE to having to hit the road in the wild card round to take on the Tampa Bay Rays.

That's bad news for Rangers fans, but let's not lose hope quite yet. They're still in the playoffs, something that few people expected heading into the season.

So, it's time to turn our attention to Game 1 on Tuesday against the Rays.

I'm going to break down the odds and my best bet for the game in this article, but if you want to get in on the action I'd recommend doing so at FanDuel Sportsbook. For a limited time, new users get $200 in guaranteed bonus bets when they place their first $5 wager. Just click the link below to take advantage of this fantastic offer!

Rangers vs. Rays probable pitchers for Tuesday, Sept. 7

  • Rangers: Unconfirmed (Jordan Montgomery expected) - 10-11, 3.20 ERA
  • Rays: Tyler Glasnow - 10-7, 3.53 ERA

Rangers vs. Rays odds, run line, and total

Rangers vs. Rays prediction and pick

I have faith in the Texas Rangers, especially as +130 underdogs in Game 1 against the Rays. I think that's a complete misprice, and there's plenty of value on the Rangers at their current price.

When evaluating how a team is going to perform in the postseason, I like to look at each team's stats over the last 30 days to determine what kind of form they're in ahead of the playoffs. If you do that with offense, the Rangers have an advantage over the Rays.

Over the past month, the Rangers rank fifth in the NFL in OPS at (.786). The Rays, on the other hand, come in at eighth in that time frame at .773.

The Rangers also get to face a stumbling Tyler Glasnow, who has allowed at least four earned runs in three of his last four starts. I'm not so sure he's in his best form ahead of this game.

If there's one glaring weakness the Rangers have, it's their bullpen, but yet we've seen time and time again teams are able to manage around bad bullpens in the postseason. Just look at the 2019 Washington Nationals or the Philadelphia Phillies last year who were able to win in the playoffs despite having subpar relievers.

I'll back the Rangers as underdogs on Tuesday.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

You can check out all of Iain's bets here!