The New York Yankees have won their last four games behind Nathan Eovaldi. But Tuesday's baseball odds have the Yankees as small road dogs against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Jason's 2015 record as of May 11: 18-9, plus-9.25 units ML; 0-2, minus-2.05 units Total
The New York Yankees just keep rolling along. They beat the Tampa Bay Rays 11-5 on Monday night, cashing in as very slim –101 road dogs to improve to 21-12 on the new season. That's 8.97 units in profit for the Bronx Bombers. It's as if Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were still with us. Well, more like Lefty Gomez and Red Ruffin; it's been the pitching that's kept New York on top of the AL East thus far.
We'll see one of the more intriguing Yankees pitchers this Tuesday (7:10 p.m. ET) when Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound in Game 2 of this four-game set at the Trop. Chris Archer responds for the Rays, who have beaten New York just once in seven attempts thus far. The MLB odds at press time have the Yankees pegged at +118. Value? With the Yankees? How times have changed.
Nathan's Not Famous
That reasonable price might have more to do with our arrival in the no-name section of New York's rotation, after Michael Pineda and CC “Don't Call me C.C.” Sabathia. Eovaldi (4.48 FIP) arrived in the Bronx during the offseason in the trade that sent Martín Prado and David Phelps to the Miami Marlins. While nobody was paying attention, Eovaldi enjoyed two very good seasons in Miami, but the Marlins were so bad last year, they lost 13.53 betting units behind Eovaldi (3.37 FIP) on a team record of 10-23.
A little run support goes a long way. Eovaldi has suffered a bit now that he's pitching in the bandbox that is New Yankee Stadium, but with 4.83 runs per game from his teammates, the 25-year-old righty has earned 2.17 units thus far. New York is 4-2 in his six starts, including four straight wins going into Tuesday's tilt.
The last time we saw Archer (2.84 FIP), he had the misfortune of getting matched up against the top man on the MLB money charts, Nick Martinez of the Texas Rangers. But Archer dug his own hole, giving up five earned runs in 3.1 innings of work as Texas (+143 away) won 5-4. That's Archer's first truly bad performance of the season, and his third loss in four games, leaving the northpaw 2.18 units in the hole with a team record of 3-4.
What was that we said earlier about run support? The Rays (17-16, plus-0.65 units) failed to score any runs in two of those losses; on the season, they've given Archer a measly 2.43 runs of support per game. Sad, really, especially when Tampa Bay's hitters aren't that far behind New York's. Going into Monday's game, the Rays were No. 13 overall in hitting at 3.8 WAR, just three spots behind the Bombers at 4.5 WAR. It'd help if SS Asdrubal Cabrera (.564 OPS) found his hitting stroke again, but he seems to have misplaced it somewhere in 2011. Keep that in mind when preparing your next MLB picks.
Snake-bitten though he may be, Archer's a strong enough pitcher that we're turning our fantasy attention to the Yankees bullpen, which ranks second in the majors at 2.2 WAR. The top candidates for holds are fresh after their services weren't required in Monday's blowout. You probably won't have access to RP Dellin Betances (1.29 FIP, eight holds), but RP Justin Wilson (3.25 FIP, five holds) is only 1% owned at Yahoo leagues as we go to press.
Alternatively, you could give Eovaldi (25% owned) a spot start. This is a good spot for him with the Rays struggling, and the few Tampa Bay hitters (four in total) who have faced Eovaldi in the majors are a combined 3-for-17 at the plate with a .412 OPS. We'll buy that for a dollar.
Free MLB Pick: Take the Yankees +119 at 5Dimes