MLB Picks and Parlays: Tampa Bay Visits Yankees to Start a Four-Game Series
The American League East is shaping up to be a three-team race between the two juggernauts -Boston and New York- and the upstart Tampa Bay Rays. This year the Rays seem to playing the role of the tortoise where slow and steady wins the race.
They’ve been hovering a few games above .500 for much of the last couple of months while the Yankees and Red Sox take turns surging out in front and then falling back to the pack. Heading into Thursday’s games they are 2.5 games out of first and 1.5 back of the Yankees for second. Clearly a strong weekend for the Rays has the ability to turn the AL East upside down.
Tampa Bay has been streaky since the All-Star break ended. They began by winning four of five games and followed that up by dropping five straight including the first game of their most recent series with Baltimore. They’ve rebounded by winning their last two to ride some momentum into this series. On Wednesday, they beat the Orioles 5-1 behind a strong outing from Alex Cobb.
Evan Longoria erased a 1-0 deficit with a two-run homer in the sixth inning and the Rays never looked back.
The New York Yankees seem to have regained their momentum after an up and down start to their second half. They were 3-4 after their first seven games, losing a couple of heart breakers to the Red Sox and Twins in the process. They concluded their 11-game road trip on a strong note, taking three of four from the Mariners and came home this week with a sweep of a two-game series with the Reds.
Aaron Judge and the offense were slow to find their timing after the break, but they’ve now scored five or more runs in five straight games.
Tampa Bay has averaged just 3.42 RPG since the break and the team ERA is 3.55.
New York has averaged 4.08 RPG since the break with a team ERA of 2.76.
Chris Archer (7-6, 3.77 ERA) was phenomenal in his last start, but the defense was less so. He gave up one earned run and struck out 11 in seven innings. But he also allowed three unearned runs and took the loss in a 4-3 decision to the Rangers. He’s got five straight quality starts of allowing three runs or less and pitching six innings or more. But Tampa is just 2-3 in those games.
CC Sabathia (9-3, 3.44 ERA) is having a great bounce back year. He’s been pretty good too since coming off the DL in July. He started slow against Toronto, but in his last two starts he’s allowed one earned run total in 11 innings and the Yankees have won them both.
- Tampa Bay is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
Tampa Bay is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Tampa Bay’s last 10 games
- NY Yankees is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
NY Yankees is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of NY Yankees’s last 12 games
Cash It In: The Yankees are -117 favorites and the Rays +107 underdogs. This should be a dandy of a game, but look for New York to keep riding their current hot streak and pull out a win. Yankees 4-3.