Saturday MLB Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays (Aug. 8)

Credit:

Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Gerrit Cole.

  • The Yankees are favored over the Rays in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader that features two elite pitchers.
  • The game will only be seven innings because of the MLB's new doubleheader policy, and the total is listed at 6 as a result.
  • Get Brad Cunningham's full breakdown and pick for Rays vs. Yankees below.

Yankees vs. Rays Betting Odds

Yankees Odds -164 [Bet Now]
Rays Odds +142 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 6 (+104/-128) [Bet Now]
First Pitch 2:10 p.m. ET | MLB Network

Odds as of Saturday at 9 a.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


The Yankees look to extend their lead in the AL East as they send their ace Gerrit Cole to the mound to take on Tyler Glasnow and the Rays in Game 1 of Saturday’s double-header. Both games will be seven innings.

This is an incredible heavyweight pitching matchup as Glasnow is an ascending star who might be one of the best pitchers in the next few years, while Cole has established himself as the best in all of MLB.

Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP  is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.

Yankees

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs

The Yankees have been mashing the ball through their first 12 games, as they lead MLB with a .352 wOBA and 131 wRC+. They’ve been crushing home runs left and right, with 24 already on the season. Aaron Judge has led the Bronx bombers with seven home runs and .493 wOBA, which ranks second in MLB.

Yankees Projected Starter

Gerrit Cole, RHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Cole has been fine through his first three starts as a Yankee, but there are a couple areas in his arsenal of pitches that fans should keep an eye on.

He’s gone to his fastball more often in his first three starts (57.8%) than he did last season (51.6%). His whiff-rate on that fastball has also gone way down, from 37.6% in 2019 to 17.1% this season. Cole’s slider also hasn’t been as effective, allowing a .389 wOBA on 60 pitches. Context is key here because it is a small sample size, but it’s something to look out for going froward.

His paltry 2020 metrics notwithstanding, Cole is still one of the best pitchers in baseball due to his elite combination of velocity and control. He averages 96.6 mph on his fastball and can top out at over 100. In fact, his fastball rated out as the best in baseball last season.

The Rays were in the bottom-half of MLB against fastballs in 2019 and are struggling again in 2020. So, Cole should have no issues Saturday afternoon dominating with his fastball.

Rays

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs) 

Rays Projected Starter

Tyler Glasnow, RHP

Projected Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Glasnow is on his way to becoming one of the best pitchers in baseball. He posted a 2.94 xFIP last season, which ranked fourth in MLB. Glasnow’s effectiveness derives first and foremost from his fastball, which averages nearly 97 mph and can top out over 100 mph.

But it’s not just about his velocity. Glasnow also demonstrates elite control with his heater. Furthermore, he throws it more than any other starting pitcher I’ve looked at, using it on over two-thirds of his pitches. That high usage is justifiable, because Glasnow only allowed a .195 batting average and produced a 22.4% whiff rate with his fastball in 2019.

He also has an elite curveball that was nearly untouchable in 2019, allowing a meager 1.69 wOBA to opposing batters and producing a staggering 43.5% whiff rate. As you can see below, his hook has some sick action:

The Yankees do not have a weakness when it comes to pitch type and were a good fastball hitting team in 2019, so Glasnow will have to be on point Saturday afternoon.

Bullpens

Las night’s matchup between these two squads closed 1-0 in favor of Tampa Bay. Neither bullpen was particularly overexerted, so both teams should have full availability from their relievers.

Projections and Pick

At current odds as of 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday morning, I don’t see much value on either side in this matchup. Ideally, I would jump in on Tampa Bay at +160 or better. Conversely, if I could find New York at -129 or better, I would pivot to the Yankees’ side.

Of special note, however: The consensus total for today’s matchup is at 6 runs across the market, but you can grab the over 5.5 at -110 at FanDuel (NJ only) as a potential arbitrage option.

[Bet $20+ on Yankees-Rays at PointsBet and Win $100 if either team gets at least one hit]

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