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Rays vs. Yankees MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: How to Bet This AL East Showdown (Friday, September 9)

Rays vs. Yankees MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: How to Bet This AL East Showdown (Friday, September 9) article feature image
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Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Drew Rasmussen #57 of the Tampa Bay Rays.

  • The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees begin a critical three-game series in the Bronx Friday.
  • The odds have this game at a pick'em, but Nick Shlain sees clear value on one side of the matchup.
  • He breaks down how to bet this division battle below.

Rays vs. Yankees Odds

Rays Odds -110
Yankees Odds -110
Over/Under 7 (-115/-105)
Time 7:05 p.m. ET
TV Amazon
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The New York Yankees have a three-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Eastern division entering play Friday.

The Yankees and Rays will start an important three-game series in the Bronx tonight as the teams continue to jostle for the division title. The Yankees are 5-5 over their last 10 games while the Rays come in at 8-2 over their last 10.

Who will get the job done and ultimately take home the victory tonight?

Rays Left-Handed Hitters Are Key

The Rays will be going up against Frankie Montas here. Montas has a 3.79 xFIP, 24% K% and 6% BB%. His ERA this year is also 3.79. If you only count his time with the Yankees, it’s been worse at 5.87 after six starts.

Montas has allowed a .176 ISO to left-handed batters this year. David Peralta is the only left-handed hitter in the Rays lineup with an ISO above .200 against right-handed pitching this season. Wander Franco, Brandon Lowe and Ji-Man Choi represent the rest of the left-handed power in the order for the Rays.

Tampa Bay is 17th in all of baseball averaging 4.31 runs per game on the road this season. Montas has a 5.09 ERA in three starts at Yankees Stadium this season.

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Will New York’s Limited Offense Wake Up?

The Yankees will face Rays starter Drew Rasmussen, who has a 2.70 ERA this year. Rasmussen has a 4.06 xFIP, 22% K%, and 5% BB%. He induces a lot of weak contact on ground balls as he has a 47% ground ball percentage. He hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in a start in his last eight games.

The last time he allowed more than two earned runs in a start it was the middle of July, almost two month ago. The Yankees offense isn’t what it was at this point in the season as they continue to deal with injuries.

Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gleyber Torres are pretty much the only offensive players in pinstripes Rasmussen will have to worry about here. He has a 3.59 ERA on the road this year. The Yankees are third in all of baseball averaging 5.00 runs per game at home this year.

Rays-Yankees Pick

I’m going with the Rays here. The Yankees aren’t as deep as they were earlier in the season before losing players like D.J. LeMahieu, Matt Carpenter, Anthony Rizzo and Andrew Benintendi to the injured list. I mean, that’s practically half of their offense.

It’s just a little too much for them to overcome against a pitcher like Rasmussen, who simply hasn’t been allowing much to the opposition recently. I took the Rays moneyline at -110.

Pick: Rays ML (-110)

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