Luis Severino has been a near-savior for the Yankees rotation & this handicapper likes his chances for victory Friday as New York opens a 3-game set in the Bronx vs. Tampa Bay
Rays-Yankees Friday Odds
As of early Friday morning the best price we could find on New York with Luis Severino was the -152 at GT Bets, while Tampa Bay and Jake Odorizzi were getting +144 at Heritage. Also our MLB odds board listed a total on tonight's game of 7.5 runs, with a few eights out there as well.
New York just took two of three games at Boston this week, winning Wednesday's rubber match 13-8. So the Yanks have won two series in a row and five of their last six games.
At 74-58 New York trails division-leading Toronto by a game and a half in the AL East, but leads the American League wild-card race by four games over Texas, and by 5.5 games over Minnesota.
Tampa, in the meantime, just took two of three games in Baltimore, and had a chance at the sweep, but closer Brad Boxberger blew a ninth-inning lead and the Rays eventually lost 7-6 in 11 innings Wednesday. So Tampa is 1-2 in its last three series, 4-6 over its last 10 games. It's also played nine OVERS in its last 11 games.
At 66-67 the Rays trail Texas by 4.5 games in that battle for the second AL wild-card spot.
The Yankees lead this season series eight games to five, with the UNDERS going 7-5-1.
Friday's Mound Match-Up
Severino (2-2, 2.17), by our tough accounting, is four-for-five on quality starts since joining the New York rotation one month ago. Last Saturday he tossed six scoreless innings against Atlanta, and just before that he held Cleveland to one run through six frames. On the whole Severino has allowed 21 hits through 29 innings as a Major Leaguer, walked 11 and struck out 29.
New York is 2-3 in Severino's starts, with the UNDERS going 3-2.
This will be Severino's first-ever start against Tampa, which could give him an edge, at least for the first couple of times through the lineup.
Odorizzi (6-7, 3.18) is 11-for-22 on quality starts, and two for his last three. Last Saturday he gave up four runs in less than five innings against Kansas City, but over his two previous starts he held Houston and Oakland to three runs through 12 innings. On the season Odorizzi has allowed 118 hits through 133 innings, walked 33 and struck out 117.
The Rays are 10-12 in Odorizzi's starts, with the UNDERS going 14-8.
Odorizzi has started twice this season against the Yanks, allowing seven runs through 12 1/3 innings; Tampa lost both those games.
Friday's Batting Splits
Tampa ranks 25th in the Bigs this season against right-handed pitching with a .305 team on-base percentage, and 28th with a .382 team slugging percentage.
New York ranks 14th against righties with a .319 team OBP and fourth with a .425 team slugging percentage.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Yankee Stadium this season are 31-28 on the OVERS, averaging 9.2 runs per.
New York 1B Mark Teixeira (31 HR) has missed the last week-plus with a sore shin, and he'll probably miss this series, too.
Rays-Yankees Free Picks
We give New York the check marks in the pitching match-up, in part because Tampa hitters haven't yet faced Severino, with the sticks and in the bullpen. So we like the Yanks, and we'll take a chance with a run-line play. Also, we could see this game getting to 5-3, so we're thinking OVER.