MLB Betting: Rays World Series Odds Take a Major Hit after Losing Franco and McClanahan

Michael Savio pic
By:
Michael Savio
08/18/2023
News

Highlights

  • Shane McClanahan will miss remainder of the season after an elbow injury
  • Wander Franco is out indefinitely amid legal investigations
  • Tampa is no +1200 to win the 2023 World Series at FanDuel

The Rays looked like a World Series contender since opening day, but their chances have taken a significant hit over the last two weeks. The team will now be without Shane Mclanahan, whose elbow injury will require Tommy John surgery and sideline him for the remainder of the season. Just before that news came out, the Rays placed star Wander Franco on the restricted list amid a criminal investigation.

Below we will discuss how the loss of both stars will affect the Rays and share their new World Series odds from MLB betting sites.

Rays Lose Their Ace in McClanahan

The Rays have one of the better pitching staffs in the AL, but they will feel the loss of McClanahan (11-2, 3.29 ERA) for the remainder of the season. The 26-year-old was having a fantastic 2023 campaign, but things began to unravel on June 16 as he attempted to play with a lingering elbow injury. His struggles were felt by the Rays, who went from dominating the AL East to sitting a few games behind the Orioles.

The Rays do have a pair of very talented starting pitchers in Tyler Glasnow (6-3, 3.01 ERA) and Zach Eflin (12-7, 3.67 ERA), but they lack depth behind them. The Rays have had some success using relievers as spot starters, but that won't get them through the postseason. Unless Tampa can get production from one of their pitching prospects, winning a five- or seven-game series will be difficult.

Troubling Accusations Land Franco on Restricted List

Pitching injuries are always expected, but losing Wander Franco (3.281 BA, 17 HR, 58 RBI, 30 SB) is something nobody anticipated. The 22-year-old shortstop is considered a budding superstar, but he is now accused of having an inappropriate relationship with an underage girl. A few days later, a second accuser came forward to bring the count to two. While there are questions about the actual age of the girls, don't expect the Rays to bring him back until this is cleared up.

Franco's absence leaves a massive hole in this Tampa infield, as he ranks four in the league in WAR at 5.5. The star's ability to combine power and speed made him a dangerous hitter whose contributions won't be able to be replicated by just one player. The Rays have called up 22-year-old Osleivis Basabe, the organization's sixth-ranked prospect, to take over for Franco. Basabe was having a solid season in AAA, but he had not played in the MLB before the move. It will take him time to adjust to big-league pitching, which will be a problem for the Rays as we enter the season's final month.

FanDuel Sportsbook Drops the Rays as a World Series Favorite

Many bookmakers considered the Rays a top-four betting favorite, but FanDuel Sportsboo has now dropped their odds to +1200. That still gives them the sixth-best odds to win, but it is way down since the trade deadline when they were +600. While losing these two stars is a significant blow, this Rays team is still deep and should easily lock in an AL Wildcard spot. However, we recommend waiting to bet on them until we see how Basabe and the Rays' starting rotation holds up over the next few weeks.

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid. As an adult, Michael started picking games for a small sports betting site and has built it into a career. His experience allows him to provide tips and information to help other bettors improve their game. Michael cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams, the Arizona State Sun Devils (his alma mater), and the Ottawa Senators. He specializes in baseball betting but has extensive experience in football, basketball, and hockey. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children or hiking and enjoying the outdoors.