User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Horses
Golf
Auto
Soccer
More
Betting Tools

 
Bright Rays

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

Sand always was a possibility, but the best way to get buried last year was playing on the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays blew 15 games in the ninth inning or later. These memories are brought up in conjunction with sportsbooks beginning to release regular season baseball ‘over/under’ win totals.

Expect Tampa Bay’s win total to be in the range of 68-74 victories. Anything under 74 wins is a worthwhile investment.

Advertisement
Yes, I realize the Rays have finished last in the American League East nine of the past 10 years. I’m not saying they are even going to scare the Red Sox or Yankees.

But enough parts have been assembled where the Rays can do better than finish eight games below .500.

There’s a big bat at first, maybe the fastest outfield in baseball, a much upgraded bullpen and strong top of the rotation starters.

Tampa Bay has never had three starters the quality of Scott Kazmir, James Shields and newly acquired Matt Garza. We know how good Kazmir and Shields are. The Ray had a winning record in games started by Kazmir and Shields.

A key is Garza, the former No. 1 pitching prospect of the Minnesota Twins. He was 7-3 with a 3.13 ERA last year when not pitching in the hitting-friendly Metrodome.

The Rays may have had the worst bullpen in history last year. It can’t be worse this season. On the contrary, it looks much better. Troy Percival is the new closer after proving he was healthy last season while performing well for St. Louis.

Percival brings experience and credibility. He’s held opponents to a .186 career batting average. Al Reyes was miscast as a closer. He’s better as a setup man. Dan Wheeler, brought in from Houston, is a respectable setup man, too.

First baseman Carlos Pena finally lived up to his hype, slugging a team record 46 homers and driving in a Tampa-best 121 runs. He’ll have plenty of RBI opportunities with speedy Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton and Akinori Iwamura hitting in front of him.

You would be hard-pressed to find a faster outfield trio than Crawford, who has more steals during the past four years than anyone else in the American League, Upton and Rocco Baldelli. Crawford has improved his batting average during each of his first six seasons. Those three are going to track down a lot of fly balls in the outfield.

The farm system is good. Catcher Dioner Navarro, who had the third-best slugging percentage of any catcher following the All-Star break, and third baseman Evan Longoria are excellent young talents.

I’m not a fan of manager Joe Maddon. Too many bizarre and short-sighted moves on his part. However, the ownership that took over three years ago has proven solid. There’s talent in the farm system. It has already started to blossom and could really become ripe in two-three years.

In the meantime, the Rays have improved enough to make a serious run at .500. That’s enough to cash on this prop.

  
HEADLINES
Hunter: Future Market - Buy Orders
Feist: Chalk could be costly
Lawrence: May Pitchers Report
Bettis, Rockies shut down Phillies, 4-1
Royals double up Cubs, 8-4
D-Backs call up Saltalamacchia
Nats' Werth out with broken wrist
Reds move Jason Marquis into bullpen
Twins' Fien back from DL, drop Tonkin
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
4-0 L4, 11-4 +889 L15, +2,734 TY
4-0 Run, 7-1 Last 8 Picks
43-28, +2,483 Last 71 Picks
16-8, +1,214 Last 24 Picks
12-4 L16 Picks, 12-5 L17 G-Plays
+595 Last 5 Days, +1,539 TY
22-8 Last 30 Guaranteed Plays
14-8, +988 Last 22 Selections
9-3 L12 Guarantees, +995 TY
22-10, +1,044 L32 Guarantees
3-0 L3 G-Plays, 7-3 L10 Picks
4-2 +245 L6, 7-3 +445 L10
4-2 Last 6 Guaranteed Plays
5-1 Y'day, 20-8 +1,132 Last 3 Days
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks- Kevin Rogers
2015 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 2646
Joe Nelson + 2263
Bruce Marshall + 1531
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Nelson + 2229
Kevin Rogers + 2199
Bruce Marshall + 1255
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Michael Black + 389
Scott Pritchard + 256
Tony Stoffo + 242
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1213
Chip Chirimbes + 790
Dave Cokin + 612
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 557
ASA + 483
Kevin Rogers + 447
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Nelson + 1363
Mark Franco + 403
Tony Stoffo + 396
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy Sager Bomb