MLB Picks: Rays vs. Yankees Odds & Analysis

Joe Freda

Sunday, June 23, 2013 1:07 PM GMT

The New York Yankees have moved to 4-2 in their last six games, notching Saturday’s 7-5 victory as 148 home ‘chalk’ over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Sunday’s MLB betting has the rivals playing their finale, with New York’s Ivan Nova (2-1, 5.16 ERA) facing Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer (1-3, 5.03 ERA).

Yankees, Wells surge by Rays 

Yankees outfielder Vernon Wells drilled a three-run double in Saturday’s seventh inning, capping off his side’s rally to erase a late 5-3 deficit. New York’s Zoilo Almonte continued the hot start to his career, finishing 1-for-2 with three RBIs.

Rays designated hitter Wil Myers cracked a grand slam as part of a 3-for-4 day, while mate Evan Longoria poked a homer and double. Tampa Bay’s Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar were both held to 0-for-4 outings, each leaving two men on base. 

Yankees relievers David Robertson and Mariano Rivera notched a hold and save, respectively, uniting to allow one hit over the final two frames. The contest’s combined 12 runs jumped above the MLB odds ‘total’ of eight, lifting the OVER to 2-1 in the series. 

Nova called up for start 

Nova has spent the month with Triple-A’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, making three starts with two wins and one no-decision. Last Sunday’s latest outing saw the Dominican Republic native allow one earned run over 6 2/3 IP, giving up five hits.

The Yankees went 2-0 in April’s pair of home starts for Nova, logging victories over the Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays. The 26-year-old’s latest MLB effort came in five frames of relief on May 29 against the New York Mets, tossing six strikeouts en route to allowing one run. 

Archer outgunned early 

Archer logged his third loss in four starts with Tuesday’s 5-1 defeat for Tampa Bay as a 108 road dog against the Boston Red Sox. The second-year hurler allowed three earned runs on five hits, departing after 4 2/3 innings. 

Tampa Bay’s Luke Scott drove in his side’s sole run, while Jose Molina notched a 2-for-3 day. The Rays were edged out in hits, 8-6, with first baseman James Loney recording the contest’s sole error. 

Back the Yankees as short faves

Bet365 opened Nova as a 110 home favorite, while first setting the ‘total’ at 9 ½ (UNDER minus 125). The weather forecast at Yankee Stadium calls for a clear 85 degrees, with 12 mph winds blowing out to left field. 

I am backing Nova and New York in this spot, looking for Joe Giraradi’s club to extend its streak with another win. 

Nova has had his share of solid outings at both the MLB and Triple-A level this year, while facing a Rays’ lineup that has hit just .235 against right-handed pitching on the road. Saturday’s win moved the Yankees to 8-3 in their last 11 games as a favorite, while New York is 5-0 in Nova’s last five home starts against Tampa Bay. 

Archer has struggled in his two road spots, allowing a whopping 2.31 WHIP and .435 OBP. Tampa Bay dropped to 2-5 in its last seven games away from home with Saturday’s defeat, while coming into this duel with a 2-8 mark in its last 10 matchups facing a right-handed starter. 

Look for the Rays to come up short again here, while New York gets an emotional boost from Old-Timers’ Day and a cashed ticket for  our baseball picks at a low premium.

MLB Pick: New York Yankees -110 at Bet365

[gameodds]3/239230/43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Don't forget to check out my picks on the Atlanta Braves vs. the Milwaukee Brewers!