In case you missed it: Rays’ Ace Shane McClanahan missed his scheduled start last night in Miami. And it was very unexpected.
The late scratch sent the Rays’ bullpen scrambling to pick up the slack. They ultimately succeeded, but at the steep cost of 144 pitches and 7 different relievers to secure victory.
I mention this situation, since I view it as a source of value on Drew Rasmussen props tonight. With the bullpen gassed, his team is counting on a strong performance from him.
Those facts aside, tonight projects as an extremely plus matchup for the 3rd-year Righty. I respect the Marlins pithing staff, but their offense flat out stinks. Looking at August numbers, they’re the 29th ranked team (out of 30) vs. Right-Handed Pitching (as measured by the wRC+ statistic).
They’re also strikeout prone, though interestingly, I noticed only 6 of 16 (37.5%) RHP covered their closing strikeout line vs. Miami in August. Initially that was a sobering stat for me, but looking at the pitchers they faced gives me comfort. They were mostly low strikeout guys that oddsmakers tagged with inflated lines, since Miami stinks so much.
Enter Drew Rasmussen, who’s now recorded 7+ strikeouts in 3 straight starts. He’s limited opponents to 4 earned runs across 19.1 innings pitched in that span. He’s clearly in terrific form right now, and confidence is high.
In one prior matchup vs. Miami this season, Rasmussen recorded 7 strikeouts in just 5 innings pitched. That was on May 25th. The third-year pitcher has greatly improved since then, and with the Rays bullpen situation, there’s a legitimate chance he pitches 6+ innings tonight.
With all that said, I’m honestly shocked Drew’s strikeout prop line is set as low as 4.5 with plus money odds for the over at some shops right now. It’s very fishy, but against the Marlins; I’ll take bait!