Rays vs Yankees Odds, Pick | MLB Betting Preview, Prediction (May 11)

Rays vs Yankees Odds, Pick | MLB Betting Preview, Prediction (May 11) article feature image

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: DJ LeMahieu.

  • The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees meet again in an AL East clash at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night.
  • Aaron Judge and the Yankees are going for their fourth straight win after a sweep of the A’s.
  • Continue reading for Nick Martin’s Rays vs. Yankees series opener preview, plus a player prop pick on DJ LeMahieu.

Rays vs. Yankees Odds

Thursday, May 11
7:05 p.m. ET
MLB Network
Rays Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-105 / -115
Yankees Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-105 / -115
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate of games.

The New York Yankees will look to hang a rare series loss on the Tampa Bay Rays, who have put up a record of 29-9, when the AL East rivals begin a series on Thursday evening in the Bronx.

The Rays claimed a series victory last week at the Trop in the latest installment of a very compelling rivalry between these two sides.

Tampa will send Drew Rasmussen to the mound Thursday, and he has pitched to a 3.11 ERA in 37 2/3 innings.

New York will start Domingo German, who owns a 4.35 ERA throughout 33 2/3 innings.

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa's 29-9 record and +115 run differential are still hard to believe. They have come down to earth with a 6-4 mark over the last 10, which does not seem entirely surprising.

The Rays have hit to a ridiculous 141 wRC+, and .367 wOBA. Their xwOBA is 12 points below that mark at .353. So essentially, even if the Rays continue to bat at the incredible level we have seen early on, they still are due for regression. There is also a valid argument that perhaps some pieces of the order will not sustain this level of dominance.

Rasmussen has been very solid to start the campaign with a 3.04 xERA, and 3.33 xFIP through 37 2/3 innings. His five-pitch mix has been effective. Only his fastball has been hit effectively, as batters own a .426 xSLG versus his four-seamer. His cutter owns an xSLG of .312, and batters essentially are not touching his off-speed stuff.

Right-handed batters are slugging .337 against Rasmussen, while left-handed batters have slugged .316. Since the start of the 2021 season, left-handed batters have slugged just .285 versus Rasmussen.

In 2022, righties slugged .399, and have continued to fare much better.

In a surprising turn of events, the Rays' bullpen could actually prove to be relatively middling this season. They have pitched to a 4.68 xFIP, which is the fourth-worst mark in the league and suggests significant regression is on the horizon.

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New York Yankees

The talent at the top of the lineup suggests the Yankees are due for better offensive results. The underlying numbers agree, as they have hit to a .312 wOBA, which is 20 points below their 10th-best expected rate of .322.

DJ LeMahieu has surged at the plate recently, and enters this matchup on an eight-game hitting streak which has featured 11 hits and two home runs in 31 at-bats. His hard-hit rate is in the 94th percentile, and his xSLG rate is up to .462.

LeMahieu has thrived versus right-handed pitching with a .511 SLG rate in 95 PAs. Since the 2021 season, LeMahieu has put 52% of his swings in-play versus right handed pitching. That is the second-highest mark in baseball during that time.

Rays vs. Yankees Betting Pick

This take has not worked out well for me over the last several weeks, but it does seem that we are reaching somewhat of a sell-high point with the Rays as a team. I lean toward the Yankees in this matchup, as German seems to be finding his top form, and offensively the Rays might be overvalued right now.

My favorite play on this matchup comes in the form of a player prop, though. LeMahieu has hit to elite splits versus right-handed pitching, and should fare well versus Rasmussen over a large sample. Rasmussen's breaking stuff is a concern for LeMahieu, but I like that he saw him last week and he managed reasonable contact in those ABs.

LeMahieu is priced at +165 to record over 1.5 total bases in this matchup. That is a very juicy number for a batter of his ilk in strong form, and I think is worth a play.

Pick: DJ LeMahieu Over 1.5 Total Bases +165

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