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The Braves and Rays meet in a matchup of World Series favorites

CLEVELAND, OHIO - JULY 05: Ronald Acuna Jr.  #13 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after being forced out to end the fourth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field on July 05, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Is this weekend a World Series preview?

The Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays kick off a three-game series in Tampa this weekend as Charlie Morton takes on Tyler Glasnow.

The Braves have the best record in baseball at 58-28 thanks to an incredible summer run. The Braves are 25-5 over their last 30 games and are just as good on the road (28-13) as they are at home (30-15).

The Rays have the second-best record in baseball at 57-33 and are the best team in baseball at home with a 34-13 record. Tampa is just 16-14 over its last 30 games after an incredibly hot start and enters Friday night’s game on a five-game losing streak. The Rays lost to the Phillies on Thursday.

In addition to having the two best records in baseball, the Braves and Rays also have the best World Series odds at BetMGM. Atlanta is +375 to win the World Series while Tampa Bay is +450 to win the first World Series in franchise history.

The Braves are slight favorites in the National League ahead of the Dodgers (+500 to win the World Series) while the Rays are the clear favorites in the American League. The Rangers are the No. 2 favorite from the AL at +900 to win the World Series.

Friday night, the Rays are slight favorites to get the win. Tampa Bay is -115 to win straight up while the Braves are at -105. If you want to take the run line, the Braves are +150 to win by two or more runs and the run total is at 8.5.

Glasnow enters the game with a 4.50 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched so far this season. Morton has thrown 90.2 innings already and has struck out 105 batters, although he’s also walked 40. He has an ERA of 3.57 but has been walking a tightrope with a 1.44 WHIP.

Other MLB action

Two of the most iconic franchises in baseball square off at Yankee Stadium as the Cubs visit the Yankees this weekend. New York is -175 to win straight up while a Cubs win Friday night is at +145.

The battle of Los Angeles is also on tap this weekend as the shorthanded Angels visit the Dodgers. Like the Yankees, the Dodgers are -175 to win while the Angels are +145.

A Cam Young rebound at the John Deere?

2023 hasn’t been Cam Young’s year so far but he enters the second round of the John Deere Classic as the favorite to win the tournament. Young shot a 6-under 65 on Thursday to tie for third behind Jonas Blixt’s 62. Young is now +550 to win the tournament over a pretty thin field as the heavyweights of the PGA Tour take the weekend off to head across the Atlantic to start prepping for the Scottish Open and the British Open.

Who cashed tickets Thursday?

Three teams won in extra innings Thursday. The Reds beat the Nationals 5-4 in 10 innings, the Phillies won in 11 innings and the Blue Jays beat the White Sox 6-2 in 11 innings. The Baltimore Orioles smoked the Yankees 14-1