MLB Betting Guide: Thursday 10/7/21

numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, a line, or moneyline. For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting on any given night. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet.

For example, if you would normally bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a 3-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.

Using our model as a guide, let's take a look at the best bets for today.

Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.

Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

Rays Moneyline (-156)

On today's two-game slate -- the Chicago White Sox at the Houston Astros is the other tilt -- there isn't much betting value, per our model. But if you want in on the action. I like backing the Tampa Bay Rays to beat the Boston Red Sox tonight at Tropicana Field.

The Rays were the much better side over the course of the regular season. Not only did Tampa Bay finish eight games clear of the Red Sox, but the Rays had a run differential that was 126 runs better than Boston's. Tampa Bay's expected win-loss record was 13 games better than Boston's expected mark. The Rays were also a dominant 52-29 at home and won 7 of their last 10 overall to end the campaign.

With a chance to get rested and set their rotation for tonight's Game 1, Tampa Bay is giving the ball to Shane McClanahan. Dude was nasty this year, posting a 3.62 SIERA and 27.3% strikeout rate in his rookie campaign.

He faced the Red Sox three times and permitted a total of 5 earned runs across 16 innings while fanning 18. The overall line against Boston would look even better if not for a four-run, five-inning outing on September 2nd -- from which McClanahan bounced back to blank the Red Sox over five shutout frames in his very next start.

Once he departs, McClanahan will turn it over to a Tampa 'pen that owned the third-best reliever SIERA (3.59).

Eduardo Rodriguez is getting the nod for Boston, and the Red Sox got here by defeating the New York Yankees on Tuesday. E-Rod has really good numbers this year, finishing with a 3.64 SIERA and 27.4% strikeout rate, but he had a tough time against Tampa Bay. In four starts versus the Rays, Rodriguez allowed 11 earned runs in 21 frames while punching out 24.

How Tampa Bay did when facing Rodriguez pretty much sums up the Rays' offense this year -- they have plenty of swing-and-miss in their lineup, but they can do a lot of damage. Tampa hit the fifth-most homers versus lefties and added southpaw killer Nelson Cruz midseason. They also had the third-highest strikeout rate in the split (25.6%).

All in all, we project the Rays to win 4.30-3.71, and we think they come out on top 58.6% of the time. While the -156 moneyline implies win odds of 60.1%, there just isn't any standout betting value across either of today's two ALDS openers.