The Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers battle in the first Wild Card matchup on Tuesday as the 2023 MLB playoffs begin. The Rays (99-63) are making their fifth consecutive playoff appearance and will be looking to advance past the opening round for the first time since reaching the World Series in 2020. The Rangers (90-72), meanwhile, are in the playoffs for the first time since 2016, and are looking to advance past the opening round since reaching the 2011 World Series. This will be the third postseason matchup between the Rays and Rangers and first since 2011.

The game is slated to begin at 3:08 p.m. ET from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rangers hit .263 as a team in 2023, second-best in MLB, while the Rays batted .260, third-best. The Rays are a -154 favorite (risk $154 to win $100) on the money line in the latest Rangers vs. Rays odds from SportsLine consensus, while the over-under for total runs scored is 7.5. Before making any Rays vs. Rangers picks, be sure to check out the latest MLB predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every MLB game 10,000 times. It went 331-285 on top-rated MLB money-line picks (+357) over the past two seasons. It entered the 2023 MLB playoffs 91-73 on all top-rated MLB picks this season and has excelled on top-rated run-line picks, going 18-6 (+766). Anybody following has seen big returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Rays vs. Rangers and just locked in its picks and MLB predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are several MLB betting lines and trends for Rangers vs. Rays:

  • Rangers vs. Rays money line: Texas +131, Tampa Bay -154
  • Rangers vs. Rays over/under: 7.5 runs
  • Rangers vs. Rays run line: Tampa Bay -1.5 (+142)
  • TEX: Returned -239 to money-line backers this season 
  • TB: Returned +225 to money-line backers this season 
  • Rangers vs. Rays picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why you should back the Rays

Tampa Bay, which has won four of its last five games, has a solid offensive lineup with three of its hitters batting .292 or better. One of those is left fielder Harold Ramirez, who enters the postseason on fire. He has hits in eight of his past 10 games, including five multi-hit performances. In the season's last series at Toronto, he was 6-for-13 with two doubles, one homer, three RBI and five runs scored. In four games against Texas this season, he hit .400 with a double and an RBI.

Right fielder Joshua Lowe has also been red hot and is riding an eight-game hitting streak. He has four multi-hit efforts in that span, including a 3-for-3 game at Boston on Wednesday, which included a homer and three runs scored. He was 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBI, including a three-run homer, in a 7-6 win over Toronto on Sept. 23. In five games against the Rangers in 2023, Lowe batted .385 with one double, one homer, two walks and three runs scored. See which team to back at SportsLine.

Why you should back the Rangers

Left-hander Jordan Montgomery (4-2, 2.79 ERA) will start for Texas. In 11 starts since being acquired from St. Louis, he has allowed 21 earned runs on 61 hits in 67.2 innings, while walking 13 and striking out 58. In his last outing, a 3-2 loss at Seattle on Thursday, Montgomery received a no decision in six innings of work. He allowed one earned run on five hits, while walking two and striking out five. In the decision before on Sept. 23, he defeated Seattle by allowing no runs on five hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out six. He is 4-4 lifetime against Tampa Bay.

Shortstop Corey Seager is among the team leaders on offense, and finished the regular season with a .327 batting average. He had 42 doubles, 33 homers, 96 RBI and 88 runs scored. Seager had hits in eight of the final 10 games he played in. He has faced the Rays six times this season and is hitting .320 with two homers and eight RBI. In 16 career games against Tampa Bay, he is hitting .278 with four homers and 19 RBI. See which team to back here.

How to make Rangers vs. Rays picks

SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 9.2 combined runs. It also says one side of the money line has all of the value. You can only get the model's MLB picks at SportsLine.

So who wins Rays vs. Rangers, and which side of the money line has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to jump on, all from the model that has gone 91-73 on its top-rated MLB picks, and find out.