The Tampa Bay Rays (29-9) will be in the Bronx for the 1st game of a 4-game series against the New York Yankees (21-17). First pitch on Thursday will be at 7:05 p.m. ET (MLB Network).
Season series: Rays lead 2-1
The Rays have lost their last 2 game which is just the 3rd time this season they’ve lost back-to-back contests. They’ve yet to lose 3 in a row so they’ll be trying to avoid a 3-game losing skid by beating the Yankees on Thursday. Having lost 3 of its last 5 games Tampa Bay’s lead in the AL East has shrunk to just 4.5 games over the Baltimore Orioles.
The Yankees are still last in the AL East but they’ve gotten back on track recently with 6 wins in their last 8 games including a current 3-game winning streak after sweeping the Oakland Athletics. New York is 23rd in team batting average (.235) but the pitching staff is holding up well ranking 7th in team ERA (3.59).
Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees projected starters
RHP Drew Rasmussen vs. RHP Domingo German
Rasmussen (3-2 3.11 ERA) makes his 8th start. He has a 1.19 WHIP 2.6 BB/9 and 9.6 K/9 in 37 2/3 innings.
- Has allowed 0 ER in 4 of his 7 starts; however in the other 3 starts he’s allowed either 3 or 5 ER
- Last start: No-decision 5 2/3 IP 2 H. 0 ER 2 BB 6 K in 3-2 loss to Yankees on Saturday
German (2-2 4.35 ERA) makes his 8th start. He has a 0.94 WHIP 2.7 BB/9 and 10.1 K/9 in 39 1/3 innings.
- Has been sharp in his last 2 starts: 13 1/3 IP 6 H 3 ER 11 K
- Last starts: No-decision 5 IP 4 H 2 ER 2 BB 5 L in 3-2 win vs. Rays on Saturday
Yankees at Rays odds
- Moneyline (ML): Rays -115 (bet $115 to win $100) | Yankees -105 (bet $105 to win $100)
- Run line (RL)/Against the spread (ATS): Rays -1.5 (+145) | Yankees +1.5 (-175)
- Over/Under (O/U): 8.5 (O: -105 | U: -115)
Yankees at Rays picks and predictions
Rays 5 Yankees 3
By the Rays’ standards they’re struggling right now. However their 3 recent losses have all been by 1 or 2 runs so it’s not as if they’re getting blown out – and their pitching staff has allowed just 9 runs in those 3 losses.
With Rasmussen on the mound I like the RAYS (-115) to win outright and beat the Yankees for the 3rd time in 4 tries this season.
Run line/Against the spread
The Rays are 23-15 ATS this season 3 games better than the Yankees’ 20-18 ATS mark. They’ve had some narrow wins in the last week or so with 3 of their last 4 victories coming by 1 run but the value of taking them -1.5 at +145 is worth it.
BET RAYS -1.5 (+145) to cover and beat the Yankees by 2 or more.
The total has gone Under in each of the Rays’ last 3 games with no more than 6 runs being scored in any of those games. The Yankees’ bats have woken up however and pushed the total Over in each of their last 3 games.
This is a matchup between 2 good pitchers and assuming the Yankees cool off a bit after scoring 21 runs in their last 2 games I think the total goes UNDER 8.5 (-115).