Yankees vs Rays Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Friday, August 25
Megan Briggs/Getty Images. Pictured: Gerrit Cole
Yankees vs. Rays Odds
The New York Yankees have seemingly hit rock bottom. They struggled mightily at the plate without Aaron Judge this season, and now he's been the only one producing of late, as the Yankees are just 1-9 over their last 10 games.
However, they get to hand the ball tonight to the leading AL Cy Young candidate in Gerrit Cole. Cole has been phenomenal this season, but can he stop the bleeding against the Tampa Bay Rays?
Speaking of the Rays, they have come back to life in recent weeks as they come in winners of seven of their last 10 games. They have gotten a boost from a flood of young call-ups and get to hand the ball to Zach Eflin tonight.
With these teams trending in opposite directions, what's the best way to bet this matchup? Let's take a closer look to find out.
Even with Judge carrying the Yankees, New York is hitting just .213 as a club over the last two weeks and is 28th in runs scored over that span as well.
If you look at them from an expected statistic standpoint, they are due for sizable positive regression as they generally hit the ball hard. However, over the last two weeks the main issue has been making contact. The Yankees hold a 27.1% strikeout rate in this stretch, which is nearly 5% above the league average.
This lineup will be up against Eflin, who is in the midst of a career year. Eflin comes in with a 3.58 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. His command has been pinpoint this season, and it has led to him generating a lot of soft contact.
However, Eflin is also sporting a career-high strikeout rate, as it's up over 4% from his career average. He should have little issue against this scuffling Yankees lineup. The key will be avoiding Judge, especially with men on base.
We go from one lineup that has been scuffling to another that has been just the opposite. Sticking with the two-week sample size, the Tampa Bay Rays are the top offensive team in baseball over that stretch.
What the Rays have been doing at the dish is very impressive considering the big losses they suffered, but those openings have given them a chance to show the incredible depth they possess in their organization.
However, their hot streak could come to a screeching halt tonight against Cole. On top of Cole's impressive 2023 campaign, the Rays are due for some regression against him.
Being divisional rivals, they've seen quite a bit of him and have had their moments, but tonight the outcomes will swing in Cole's favor. Tampa Bay has accumulated 180 at-bats against Cole, and the Rays are hitting .244 against him, but they have a 29.9% strikeout rate and a launch angle of just 9.3 degrees.
The number of strikeouts combined with those ground balls likely finding gloves has made their team xBA just .215. We should see Cole fight to keep his club in this one.
Yankees vs. Rays
Betting Pick & Prediction
While it may be dangerous to fade a red-hot Tampa Bay Rays lineup, we have the perfect guy to counteract that with Cole going up against them. On the other side, the Yankees are not in a good spot to get out of the rut they've been in against Eflin.
I'm backing both starters to duel through the first half of this matchup by taking the first five under.
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.