Rays vs. Yankees MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Wrong Team Favored in the Bronx (Saturday, September 10)

Rays vs. Yankees MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Wrong Team Favored in the Bronx (Saturday, September 10) article feature image

Dustin Satloff/Getty Images. Pictured: Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Corey Kluber

  • The Yankees are short home favorites against the Rays as they hope to hang on to their AL East lead.
  • The Rays will send Corey Kluber to the mound while the Yankees will counter with Jameson Taillon.
  • D.J. James breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Rays vs. Yankees Odds

Rays Odds+120
Yankees Odds-140
Over/Under7.5 (-110/-110)
Time1:05 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Jameson Taillon and the struggling New York Yankees play host to the Tampa Bay Rays in a crucial American League East matchup this weekend in the Bronx.

The Rays are slowly closing in on the Yankees for first in the division, and a sweep could provide them the boost they need as many Yankees have landed on the Injured List. Corey Kluber will start for the Rays with his 4.00 ERA and 3.92 xERA. He is serviceable and actually limits hard contact, ranking in the 77th percentile in Average Exit Velocity and in the 71st percentile in Hard-Hit Rate.

Taillon is similar. He has a 3.95 ERA and 4.24 xERA, so if anything he has been getting better results off of worse expectations. He excels in preventing walks with only a 4.3% Walk Rate, but he ranks in the 54th percentile in Average Exit Velocity and the 64th percentile in Hard-Hit Rate.

The difference between these two is not so much the two starters, even if Kluber likely has a small edge. In the last month of baseball, Tampa Bay has a 116 wRC+ off of righties, ranking fourth in the MLB. The Yankees rank 28th at 70 wRC+, and most of this is falsely propped up by a few guys (cough Aaron Judge cough).

Let's dive into the matchup below.

Rays Have a Big Advantage in the Bullpen

Kluber does not blow away batters like he did in the past. He strikes out 20.9% of batters with a 3.1% Walk Rate. If anything, this shows how similar, numbers-wise, he is to Taillon. He does get batters to chase plenty, ranking in the 95th percentile in Chase Rate.

Of the Yankee hitters who are healthy, Aaron Judge and Josh Donaldson are the only two with .320+ xwOBAs. Yes, both are above the .390 mark, but the rest of the lineup has been putrid. Andrew Benintendi, Matt Carpenter, D.J. LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo, and Harrison Bader are all on the Injured List. None of this bodes well against another competent righty for a team that cannot string together consecutive baserunners.

Tampa, yet again, has a better bullpen than most teams in baseball. The Rays hold a team 3.18 xFIP in the last month. J.T. Chargois is the only Rays reliever above a 4.00 xFIP at 4.41 as they have eight relievers with a sub-3.00 xFIP. This is more than enough to continuously mow down New York hitters and will be a tougher test for the Yankees than Kluber will be.

Taillon and the Yankees Need to Avoid Free Passes

Taillon is solid, but he has also faltered slightly, raising his second-half ERA to 3.86. It was 3.60 in the first half as he typically avoids issuing free passes.

The Rays are a better hitting team off of righties, and only Roman Quinn is on the IL. They have seven hitters over a .325 xwOBA. Since this is most of the lineup, they should score plenty of runs off of Taillon and the Yankees’ righty relievers.

New York’s bullpen has taken a step back. The Yankees have a collective 3.89 xFIP with three relievers over the 4.00 mark and six under it. They have a litany of injuries in the bullpen, most notably Scott Effross and Aroldis Chapman. The Rays still hold a slight advantage out of the ‘pen with how dominant they have been.

Rays-Yankees Pick

There is no way the Tampa Bay Rays should be underdogs in this game. New York has a couple of strong hitters, but the rest of the lineup has been weak against right-handed pitching. Kluber is a little better than Taillon, and the Rays’ bullpen is as lockdown as it gets. Take Tampa to steal Friday’s game in New York from +120 all the way down to -125.

Pick: Tampa Bay Rays +120 (play to -125)

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