Gambling sports handicappers can now factor in setup man Chad Qualls as part of Tampa Bay’s sports book gambling formula as he arrived from Arizona for a player to be named later.
Qualls has had a horrible season for the last place Diamondbacks as his earned run average was 8.29, far below his career mark of 3.74. The 31-year old had a career high 24 saves last year for Arizona.
The Rays are in a neck and neck race with the New York Yankees for first place in the American League East Division and also had the inside track for the playoffs as the top wild card contender.
Tampa Bay re-emerged as one of the hottest teams and best board values in all of baseball wagering as they ripped off 20 wins in 26 games from June 30 through July 30 to get back into a position of strength after floundering in June.
Tampa Bay was the hottest team in baseball for the first few weeks of the season and was the 2008 American League pennant winner. This is a use it or lose it season for Tampa Bay as they are expected suffer the departure of many key players to free agency after this season.
Tampa Bay is feeling the pressure of having to win in a small market that is ambivalent about having a big league team. The Rays actually play in St. Petersburg and are in stalled talks for a new stadium to secure the team’s future.
Attendance has been weak at the domed Tropicana Field and the franchise was embarrassed to have only 17,000 fans on hand for Matt Garza’s not hitter. It is also been frustrating for ownership to see weak attendance while the team is such a hit on the field.
The Rays have been one of the most profitable teams on the board with the baseball odds this year and are one of the better balanced teams in the league as they ranked 3rd in run production and 4th for staff earned run average.
The Rays season will likely come down to mid September when they have a total of 7 gambling sports matchups with the Yankees.