MLB Odds & Picks for Rays vs. Yankees: Bet Tampa Bay to Keep It Close

MLB Odds & Picks for Rays vs. Yankees: Bet Tampa Bay to Keep It Close article feature image

Dustin Satloff/Getty Images. Pictured: Gerrit Cole

  • The Yankees are huge home favorites in tonight's matchup with the Rays.
  • New York sends Gerrit Cole to the mound, while Tampa will start Jalen Beeks as an opener in front of Ryan Yarbrough.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Rays vs. Yankees Odds

Rays Odds+205
Yankees Odds-245
Over/Under7.5 (-120 / +100)
Time7:05 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

We have the first matchup of this three-game AL East series with the New York Yankees hosting the Tampa Bay Rays. This game is the 11th meeting between these two clubs this season with the Yankees winning seven of the first 10 matchups.

Will New York continue its success against the Rays, or can Tampa Bay pull off the upset as a large road underdog?

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Can Rays Find Success Against Cole?

The Tampa Bay Rays enter this series in good form, winning six of their last 10 games (60%). I expect this trend to continue in this game as left-hander Jalen Beeks is slated to open the game for Tampa Bay before Ryan Yarbrough takes over after a few innings.

Through 29 pitching appearances this season, Beeks is 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. We should not expect any regression from Beeks based on his strong metrics.

This year, Beeks boasts a .290 xwOBA, .206 xBA and .363 xSLG. Following Beeks is the left-hander Yarbrough.

In his 10 career appearances against the Yankees, Yarbrough is 5-3 with a 2.53 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. This pitching staff could also get some good run support as the Rays are slated to go against right-hander Gerrit Cole.

Since July 1, Tampa Bay ranks 13th in the league in BA and 14th in wOBA when facing right-handed pitchers. Through 168 career plate appearances against Cole, this current Rays roster boasts a .285 BA, .464 SLG and .352 wOBA.

Over their last 10 contests, Tampa Bay is averaging 4.3 runs scored and 7.6 hits per game.

Yankees Trying to Get Back on Track

While Tampa Bay enters this series in good form, New York has been trending in the opposite direction as it has lost nine of its last 11 games (82%).

Through 23 starts this season, Cole is 9-4 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. While those are strong numbers, Cole has started to decline recently.

Over his last four starts, Cole is 0-2 with a 5.04 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. His poor form could continue against Tampa Bay.

Through his last five starts against the Rays, Cole is 1-2 with a 4.25 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. Additionally, Cole may not get much run support from the Yankees offense against Yarbrough.

Across 128 career plate appearances against Yarbrough, this current Yankees roster possesses a mere .190 BA, .284 SLG and .244 wOBA.

Rays-Yankees Pick

This line is mispriced due to multiple biases. New York is usually a heavily bet-on team and Cole is one of the most backed pitchers in the league.

That being said, the Yankees have been trending downward recently and Cole has not had his sharpest stuff over his last four starts. Meanwhile, Yarbrough has had some success against New York.

New York should definitely be priced as the betting favorite, but they absolutely should not be -245. I like Tampa Bay for the value in this game.

Pick: Tampa Bay Rays +1.5 (-105) | Play up to (-125)

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