Cubs at Rays Spread, Odds, Public Betting Trends & Matchup Print
Written by Anthony Rome   
Monday, 16 June 2008 20:41

Cubs Face Kazmir

Lou Piniella led Tampa Bay to the best record in franchise history in 2004 - just 70 wins and its only finish outside last place.

Bet on Major League Baseball

When he returns to his hometown on Tuesday, he'll find a much-improved team with a different name that's on pace to put a decade of losing behind it.

Oddsmakers from have made Tampa Bay -136 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 7.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 54% of bets for this game have been placed on Chicago +126 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Piniella leads the Chicago Cubs, owners of the best record in baseball, on their first trip to Tropicana Field to open a three-game set with the surprising Rays on Tuesday night.

The fiery Piniella led Tampa Bay from 2003-05, but all the two-time AL manager of the year could do with the then-Devil Rays was guide them to a .404 winning percentage in three seasons.

They spent two more years in the AL East cellar under current manager Joe Maddon, but after changing their name prior to 2008, the Rays (40-29) may have also shed their reputation as a perennial doormat.

"They're doing well," Piniella told Tampa Bay's official Web site. "The pitching is much better, and I think that's why you see the Rays are playing better."

Win A 2008 WSOP Seat

We’re Sending 100 Players

To Las Vegas With $12,000!

Bet on Inter-League Play

And Play Our $40,000 MLB
Handicapping Challenge

Euro Cup 2008 Betting

Bet on All The UEFA Matches

From Anywhere in The World

Tampa Bay's ace will face the Cubs (45-25) in the opener. Scott Kazmir (6-2, 1.74 ERA) started the season on the disabled list with an elbow strain, but has been outstanding since he returned to the rotation in early May.

He retired the first 14 Angels he faced on Wednesday, but left after 6 2-3 innings having allowed three runs while striking out 10. The Rays' 4-2 loss ended Kazmir's six-game winning streak.

Kazmir made his major league debut as a 20-year-old in August 2004 with Piniella as his manager.

"He's just a guy who will tell you straight up what he thought about you," said Kazmir, who led the AL with 239 strikeouts last season. "That motivated a lot of guys. ... I look forward to seeing him."

What Kazmir will also see is the NL's highest-scoring offense. Chicago averages 5.5 runs, though it puts up nearly two runs more at home than on the road, where it's 16-17.

The Cubs have looked better away from home lately, winning each of their last two series. They took two of three in Toronto over the weekend, capped by a 7-4 win on Sunday.

Ted Lilly pitched six shutout innings, extending the streak of Cubs pitchers allowing three earned runs or fewer to seven games. Ryan Dempster (8-2, 2.81) will try to continue that run on Tuesday, and seems in good position to do so.

Dempster, who was Chicago's closer the past three seasons, has allowed more than three runs just twice this year. He tossed a four-hitter with 11 strikeouts on Wednesday in a 7-2 win over Atlanta.

"He's more experienced (and) he's added some pitches," Piniella said of Dempster. "(He came to spring training) in shape, and he was on a mission, and he's gotten off to a great start."

Dempster has a better ERA in five road starts (2.59) than in nine home outings (2.93), where he's 8-0.

He'll have a challenge getting his first road victory in St. Petersburg, where the Rays are 22-4 since April 22. They've won eight straight series there, though they failed to complete their fifth sweep on Sunday by falling 9-3 to Florida.

Did you like this article? Subscribe to our Baseball news feed for the fastest updates delivered right to you - Click here to Subscribe


MLB Team Pages

Top MLB Public Bets

#1 963 San Diego Padres 99%
#2 971 Oakland Athletics 83%
#3 968 Boston Red Sox 71%
#4 959 Chicago Cubs 70%
#5 973 Detroit Tigers 52%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

Recent MLB Discussions

MLB Futures

View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.