Yankees vs. Rays MLB Odds & Picks: Expect Pitching Duel on Tuesday (May 11)
Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Pete Fairbanks (left) and Mike Zunino (right).
- The Tampa Bay Rays will take on the New York Yankees in an AL East showdown tonight.
- The Yankees have finally broken out of their slump but have also struggled against the Rays this season.
- Mike Ianniello breaks down this divisional game below and shares a betting pick based on his analysis below.
Yankees vs. Rays Odds
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
The Yankees broke out of their slump and went 7-2 during their homestand and finally got the offensive performances expected with the talent in their lineup.
Tampa Bay flies home after a trip to California in which it came away with five wins in seven games, including a four-game sweep of the Angels.
The Yankees and Rays begin a three-game series tied in the AL East standings behind the Red Sox. New York has struggled against Tampa Bay, going just 1-5 through their first six meetings.
New York Yankees
The Yankees desperately need Jordan Montgomery to round into form and help shore up the back-end of the rotation. Montgomery has been solid enough and is coming off his longest outing of the season, going six innings while allowing three runs.
In two starts against Tampa Bay earlier this season, Montgomery struggled to keep the ball in the yard. He allowed eight runs and four home runs in 11 innings over two starts. Outside of those games against the Rays, he has allowed just one home run in his other four starts.
Montgomery’s curveball has been terrific this season, allowing just a 0.71 batting average with a 41.4 K%. Meanwhile, teams have teed off on his cutter for a .455 batting average and .818 slugging percentage.
Over the last two weeks, the Yankees’ bats have come to life. The Bronx Bombers rank 10th in batting average, fifth in OPS, 12th in wOBA and 11th in wRC+ in the last two weeks.
There isn’t a player in the league hotter than Giancarlo Stanton right now.
He leads the league in hits over the last two weeks and is batting .440 with a 1.260 OPS over that span. He has racked up three home runs in the last week and had a walk-off single in the bottom on the ninth on Sunday to give the Yankees a win over the Nationals.
New York could get a big boost to the lineup on Tuesday with the possible return of 2020 home run leader Luke Voit. He has yet to play this season after offseason knee surgery and has looked like his old self in his Triple-A rehab starts, batting 7-for-18 with three home runs.
Tampa Bay Rays
As has become custom for Tampa Bay, it will go with an opener on Monday with Luis Patiño getting the ball to start. In three appearances this year, Patiño has averaged 2.5 innings per outing but been lights out. He has allowed just one run and three hits over 7 2/3 innings while striking out 10.
Behind Patiño will likely be a combination of Ryan Thompson, Andrew Kittredge, Pete Fairbanks, Hunter Strickland, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Yarbrough.
The Tampa Bay bullpen is full of flamethrowers. Take a look at the average fastball velocity for the Rays’ relievers:
- Fairbanks: 97.7 mph
- Patiño: 95.9 mph
- Kittredge: 94.9 mph (sinker)
- Strickland: 94.9 mph
- Springs: 93.4
- Thompson: 92.2 mph
Offensively the Rays have struggled this season. They sit just 24th in batting average, hitting .222 on the season, and rank 23rd in OPS and wOBA.
Tampa Bay has not gotten even close to what it had hoped from its top bats this year. Postseason hero Randy Arozarena is batting just .267, and Brandon Lowe and Austin Meadows are each hitting .195.
The Yankees have really picked it up offensively, but they have had their issues with the Rays’ pitching for the past two seasons. New York is batting just .168 against Tampa Bay this season with a .552 OPS. It garnered a batting average of .218 against the Rays last season, the second-lowest of any opponent.
The Tampa Bay offense has been one of the worst in the league, and while Montgomery isn’t the most lethal pitcher, the worst damage has been done against a cutter the Rays struggle to hit.
Tropicana Field has been a home-field disadvantage for Tampa Bay this season. The Rays are batting just .210 at home this year, the third-worst average of any team in its home park.
These teams boast two of the best bullpens in baseball, each ranking top-10 in ERA and xFIP. Coming off a day off, they should both have a full stable of rested arms ready to go. I like this total to stay under 8.5 and would play it up to -120.
Pick: Under 8.5 (Play to -120)