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Rays vs. Yankees MLB Preview and Best Bet

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Rays vs. Yankees MLB Preview and Best Bet
Tyler Glasnow #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers a pitch. Julio Aguilar/Getty Images/AFP

It’s the first day of June, and it might be starting to get late for the Yankees. New York lost to Tampa Bay again in Monday’s opener of the midweek series to fall 5.5 games back in the American League East and drop their fourth straight, while the Rays simply never seem to lose. Let’s see our MLB Picks for today!

Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees

Tuesday, June 01, 2021 – 07:05 PM EDT at Yankee Stadium

It’s the first day of June, and there’s still plenty of season left, but things may be starting to get late for the New York Yankees. The Bronx Bombers opened a home series against the Rays on Monday and lost to Tampa Bay yet again, falling 5.5 games behind in the American League East, their biggest deficit of the season.

The Yankees have now lost four straight and six of the last seven. The Rays, luckily for the best sportsbooks, have beaten the Yankees in six of their nine matchups so far this season and, lately, Tampa Bay simply never seems to lose. They’ve now won five straight and 16 of their last 17 games.

Atop the East

The Rays’ hot streak has given them the best record in baseball and the second-best run differential in the American League. Monday’s win also capped the most successful month in franchise history.

With a much lower budget than New York, the Rays mix and match pitchers and lineups and now seem to be in the Yankees’ heads. Including last year’s postseason, the Rays have won 20 of the last 27 games against New York. “I’d be lying if I said all of us didn’t get a little more amped up for a series with the Yankees,” center fielder Kevin Kiermaier said. “Good fun.” Take into consideration for your betting odds, the Rays are a confident bunch as they look to continue pounding nails into the Yankee coffin.

Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays slides home to score a run. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images/AFP

“We try to make sure they understand their strengths, and, through that, provide them the confidence to go out and maximize who they are,” General manager Erik Neander told the New York Times. “We really don’t try to make it any more complicated than that. This game is really driven by, I mean, its ability, but it’s confidence.”

The Rays will start Tyler Glasnow in game two in the Bronx. Glasnow is 4-2, 2.57 this season and has struck out 98 in 70 innings on the year. He’s coming off eight shutout innings against the Royals in his last start. He beat the Yankees with seven strikeouts in five two-hit innings in his only start against them this season.

Power Failure

It’s easy to pinpoint the cause of the Yankees’ tailspin, harder to determine how to pull out of it. New York is mired in a team-wide batting slump. The Yankees managed just five hits in Monday’s 3-1 loss to Tampa, marking the 21st time this year they’ve been held to two runs or fewer. That includes nine of the last 12 games, the first time their output has been that feeble for that long since 1971.

DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees at bat. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

Giancarlo Stanton has yet to get a hit since getting activated from the injured list on Friday. DJ LeMahieu went 0-for-4 on Monday, his 12th o-fer of the season, more than double last year’s total. Gio Urshela has seven hits in his last 48 at bats.

On the mound, the Yankees will look to Domingo German to keep things close, in case the offense can light a spark. He’s 4-3, 3.06 on the year and had a solid outing in a losing effort in his last start, allowing two runs and three hits in 5.2 innings. He got knocked around—four runs in four innings—in his only start against the Rays this year.

The Pick

The Yankees will break out in a big way, eventually. The Rays have shown no signs that it will happen against them, however.

Reliever Ryan Thompson summed it up: “We don't have any reservations about it. We just go out there, and we're like we're going to beat those guys. They can talk all the talk they want, they can throw at our guys, we're going to beat them, and in the past two years, we've definitely done that."

MLB Pick: Rays (-119) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Rays (-119)
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*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.