MLB Picks: Bet Yankees vs. Rays to go OVER 7

Jeff Grant

Friday, August 23, 2013 12:37 PM GMT

New York Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda has struggled against the Tampa Bay Rays in his career, but what do th MLB odds say about his chances tonight? We breakdown tonight's series opener in hopes of finding a solid option for our MLB picks.

Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting odds for this American League East matchup at Tropicana Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Check out our Friday Morning MLB Odds & Betting Lines Report.

Streaking

New York has won five games in a row, including a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays as -152 home favorites Thursday, while going UNDER the betting total for a third consecutive contest. 

The Yankees are 10-16 as road underdogs of +100 to +125 this season, with the UNDER going 14-11-1 in that situation.

Trouble after an off day 

Tampa Bay returns home after taking two of three games from the Baltimore Orioles, which ended with a 4-2 defeat as +110 underdogs Wednesday, while going UNDER the betting total for the fourth time in five contests. 

The Rays have dropped 10 of their 13 games following an off day during the 2013 campaign, with the OVER cashing in nine of those opportunities.

Kuroda

Yankees starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda (11-8, 2.41 ERA) has alternated wins and losses over his last three trips to the mound, as he comes off a 6-1 road defeat to the Boston Red Sox. 

The right-hander is 4-6 with a 3.09 ERA in 14 road appearances, issuing 16 walks and striking out 65 batters in 90.1 combined frames. 

In three career games versus the Rays, Kuroda has posted a 2-1 record and 6.11 ERA—his highest career ERA versus any MLB opponent. This makes the OVER look like a smart choice for our MLB picks, but first lets look at his opponent.

Archer 

Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (6-5, 2.95 ERA) didn’t earn a decision in a 2-1 home victory over the Toronto Blue Jays last time out, as he allowed one run and four hits over seven frames.

The right-hander is 3-3 with a 2.88 ERA in eight home appearances, surrendering seven home runs in 50 combined innings. 

In two lifetime efforts versus the Yankees, Archer has compiled a perfect 2-0 record and 0.60 ERA—but this will be the first time he faces them at this ballpark.

[gameodds]3/241815/?r3=349/dec&r-1=349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total with their sports picks tonight, as the OVER is 8-3 in the Yankees’ last 11 games with a betting total of 7 to 8.5.

MLB Pick:  Over 7