As Squares Play Faves, We Bet Rays +126 vs. Yankees

Darin Zank

Sunday, July 5, 2015 1:50 PM GMT

As the division-leading Yankees go for a sweep of the slumping Rays at the Stadium Sunday afternoon, this shrewd handciapper sees value in the underdog today.   
 

Rays-Yanks Sunday Betting Odds
As of early Sunday morning the best price we could find on New York and Ivan Nova was the -127 offered at 5Dimes, which was also giving the best price on Tampa and Erasmo Ramirez, +122. And most books were listing the total on today's game at eight runs, although there were a few 7.5's out there.

 

The Situation
The Yanks have taken the first two games of this series, including a 3-2 decision Saturday. New York led 2-0 into the top of the ninth Saturday, allowed a game-tying homer, then won it on bunt/error in the bottom of the ninth.

So the Yankees have won three games in a row, while Tampa has lost seven straight.

At 44-37 the Pinstripes now lead the AL East by two games over second-place Baltimore, and by three games over 42-41 Tampa.

New York also leads this season series eight games to four, with the totals leaning toward the UNDERS by a 7-5 margin.

 

Sunday's Starters
Nova (1-1, 1.50) is one-for-two on quality starts since rejoining the rotation. Eleven days ago, in his season debut, Nova held the Phillies scoreless on three hits through 6 2/3 innings, and Tuesday he held the Angels to two runs through 5 1/3 innings. New York split those two starts, as did the totals.

Nova started once against Tampa last year, and got bombed for eight runs (four homers) in four innings of a 16-1 Yankees defeat.

Ramirez (6-3, 4.01) is only two-for-11 on quality starts this year, to go along with seven appearances in relief, but that stat is a bit misleading. Tuesday he held Cleveland to one run and two hits, with seven strikeouts, through 5 2/3 innings, after missing his previous turn in the rotation with a minor injury. And over his last six starts he's allowed a total of four runs through 32 innings. On the season Ramirez has given up fewer hits, 55, than innings pitched, 67, walked 22 and struck out 58. Tampa is 8-3 in Ramirez' starts, with the UNDERS going 6-4.

In his only career start against the Yankees, back in May, Ramirez tossed five innings of one-hit, shutout ball in a 6-1 Rays victory.

 

Sunday's Batting Splits
New York ranks 10th in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .322 team on-base percentage, while Tampa ranks 25th against righties with a .298 OBP.

 

Stadium Totals Factor
Games played at Yankee Stadium this season are 22-12 on the OVERS, averaging 10.4 runs per, second-most among all ML ballparks.

 

Rays-Yanks Sunday Free Picks
We missed on Saturday's pick mainly because we thought the value on the betting line resided with Tampa. And we still feel that way about the Rays today. Also, these two starters should help keep runs to a relative minimum today.

MLB Picks: Tampa +126 and UNDER eight runs (-108) at Pinnacle