The 2023 season has been a disaster for the St. Louis Cardinals, but the team has a chance to play spoiler down the stretch, starting with Wednesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
St. Louis lost Tuesday’s game 4-2, the team’s second straight loss and seventh in its last 10 games, but it could have the advantage on Wednesday with the Rays’ staff extremely shorthanded.
Tampa Bay has already lost Jeffrey Springs and Drew Rasmussen to injuries, and now the team is expected to be without Shane McClanahan for the remainder of the 2023 season.
All of those injuries have forced the team to go with an opener on Wednesday – Jalen Beeks (2-3, 6.27 ERA) – who is certainly beatable.
The Cardinals counter with righty Dakota Hudson, who made his second start of the 2023 season back on Aug. 2. In that game, Hudson allowed three runs on two hits in seven innings of work against the Minnesota Twins.
Can he turn in another performance like that to lead St. Louis to a win?
Here are the latest odds and my best bet for this Wednesday night matchup:
Cardinals vs. Rays odds, run line and total
Cardinals vs. Rays prediction and pick
I’m expecting some regression from the Rays with so many key pitchers sidelined, and I think the Cards are a solid underdog bet in this matchup.
We don’t have much to base Hudson’s season off of since he’s worked primarily out of the bullpen since joining the roster in July, but he’s been solid overall with a 4.10 ERA and 4.11 FIP.
His only bad outing came in a relief appearance against the Chicago Cubs, but prior to that game he had posted a 2.77 ERA in his first 13.0 innings of work this season.
I don’t trust Beeks to keep the Cards off the board, especially since the team has two strong bats against lefties in Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt. Overall, St. Louis is No. 14 in the league in OPS against left-handed pitching.
Even if Beeks does get through the first few frames unscathed, the Rays have a bullpen ERA of 3.89 on the season, so St. Louis may be able to get a run or two off of them.
Tampa is not the same team that started hot in April and May. I’ll fade the Rays with an unfavorable pitching matchup tonight.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.