With arguably the better pitcher on the mound, I'm going to back the Tampa Bay Rays tonight on the plus money line against the New York Yankees. This is a great matchup with two tremendous pitchers, but the value goes with the Rays in this spot so I will make them my upset pick of the day.
I was a little surprised to see the Tampa Bay Rays as much of an underdog as they are in today's matchup. MLB odds makers have made them around the +110 underdog. The best line I have seen right now is at SportsBetting at +112, but I think this line is going to move down and think the Rays will be closer to +105 by the time the first pitch is thrown. That is my assumption and the public could go the opposite way and really jump on the Yankees today, but in my opinion the value definitely lies with the Rays.
Excellent Pitching Matchup
Much like the great matchups we saw yesterday this ranks right up there and is one of the best matchups of the season so far. Masahiro Tanaka takes the mound for the New York Yankees with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. When he came back from injury he pitched pretty well in his first three outings allowing only four runs in 21 innings, but in his last two outings he has been less than sharp allowing 11 runs in only 10 innings. I can understand why he is the favorite today because he dominated the Rays earlier this season, but he also dominated Detroit his first time against them and got lit up his second chance. Tampa Bay doesn't hit like Detroit but they should have better success today than they did that first game. For Tampa Bay Chris Archer will take the hill with a 2.31 ERA and an 0.95 WHIP, and he has been one of the best pitchers in the American League for the past couple of years. He has an impressive strikeout rate with 133 strikeouts in 109 innings, and there are not many situations in which he will be an underdog when he is on the mound. In the past three years he has dominated the Yankees with a 1.93 ERA and a record of 5-0, that is not a typo, look for him to continue his dominance today and bounce back from a bad outing he just had against the Red Sox.
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Offensively there is quite the disparity between the Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays. New York leads Tampa Bay in pretty much every offensive category across the board, they are ranked second in the league in runs scored per game compared to Tampa Bay ranked 26th. The Yankees are ranked fourth in the league in on base plus slugging percentage and Tampa Bay 23rd. The Yankees are better offensively up and down the stat sheet, and there is nothing to shout about when it comes to Tampa Bay's offense recently. Still, Tanaka has not been as sharp as of late as earlier this season so I like the Rays' chances to get a few across the plate against him, and Archer to hold down the Yankees.
It's always interesting to me when the better pitcher statistically is getting the plus money. Archer has shown in the past that he rises up to the occasion against the Yankees, look for him to do the same today and for Tampa Bay to pull off the upset.
MLB Pick: Rays +112 at BetOnline