Rays vs. Guardians prediction and odds for Sunday, Sept. 3 (Bradley vs. Bullpen)

The Guardians are 9.5 games back of a Wild Card spot, but are just five games behind the Twins for first place in the American League Central.
Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Xzavion Curry (44)
Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Xzavion Curry (44) / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Guardians have suddenly won four games in a row and are only five games behind the Twins for the top spot in the AL Central. Their most recent two wins have come against the now 82-54 Tampa Bay Rays who are second in the AL East. The Rays trail Baltimore by 2.5 games. 

Tampa Bay will try to avoid the sweep today with Taj Bradley on the mound. Bradley is 5-7 with a 5.67 ERA in 16 starts. Cleveland will counter with an opener, Xzavion Curry. Curry has started eight games this year and appeared in 33 games and has a 3-3 record and 4.10 ERA.

I’ll give you my pick and whether you want to back me or fade me you can do it in the DraftKings Sportsbook with this great promo. Just click the link below, sign up, deposit $5, bet on this matchup, and then collect $200 in bonus bets win or lose.  

Now, let’s get into the odds for the series finale in Cleveland. 

Rays vs. Guardians odds, run line and total

Rays vs. Guardians prediction and pick

The Guardians have barely won the first two games in this series, both one-run wins. Now, they’ll try to hold on for the sweep with their bullpen carrying the load on the mound. Cleveland’s bullpen is fifth in ERA since the start of August with a really strong 2.83 ERA. They have also covered the 12th most innings over that stretch, so it’s a solid sample size of great pitching from their relievers. 

Curry as an opener has a 5.90 ERA in 29.0 innings and he is much better as a reliever with a 3.06 ERA. Last time out he really struggled, allowing six runs over two innings to Minnesota. That is why his ERA as a starter is so inflated and I’m willing to excuse it because he’s also had really impressive outings as a starter like three scoreless one-hit innings against Pittsburgh or six innings of one run ball against Detroit. 

The Rays also have a starter with an inflated ERA. However, Bradley has a 89th percentile strikeout rate and a 4.39 xERA which gives me hope that he’ll improve down the stretch. The Rays certainly need him to be better for the playoffs. I think this is a low-scoring matchup on a Sunday in Cleveland, so I’ll take the under. 

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change