Rays vs. Yankees: Will A-Rod End His Career On A High Not?

Alex Rodriguez

Jason Lake

Friday, August 12, 2016 3:21 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 12, 2016 3:21 PM UTC

Alex Rodriguez will play his final game (?) Friday night when the New York Yankees host the Tampa Bay Rays. The baseball odds say it won't be a storybook finish.

Tampa Bay Rays vs N.Y. Yankees  ​
Alex Rodriguez will be forgiven. He's already showed some humility about the way his career is ending, with A-Rod in steep decline and the New York Yankees are ready to cut the cord. Friday's game (7:05 p.m. ET, FOX) against the Tampa Bay Rays will be his last – unless Rodriguez decides to give it one more try with another team (cough cough Miami cough). In which case, no, Alex Rodriguez will not be forgiven.

But will he end his career on a high note? The Yankees (58-56, –2.68 units) are +110 home dogs on the MLB odds board, so maybe not. Having said that, our early consensus reports show 63 percent of bettors pounding New York, and FiveThirtyEight projects the Yankees to win 55 percent of the time, which would make them –122 favorites according to our SBR Betting Odds Converter.


10-10 CC
This is what happens when Chris Archer (3.95 FIP) takes the mound. After an All-Star 2015 campaign, Archer has fallen victim to the home run, allowing a career-worst 1.38 per nine innings. Some of that is in Major League Baseball, who may or may not have juiced up Señor Spalding this year. But Archer has also lost a bit off his fastball, and he's walking 3.45 batters per nine innings. Add it up, and Archer is the least profitable pitcher in the big leagues, dropping 12.17 units on a team record of 7-17.

Compare and contrast to CC Sabathia (4.41 FIP). His expectations for 2016 were much lower than they were for Archer, and Sabathia has exceeded those expectations. The Yankees are only 10-10 (+0.82 units) behind the former AL Cy Young winner, but he's their only pitcher in the black aside from Masahiro Tanaka (16-7, +8.84 units). Seems like a decent MLB pick from a value perspective.

Fantasy Corner
One other thing about Archer: He's going to love pitching at Yankee Stadium, which has the biggest park factor for home runs (1.315) outside of Denver. Let's see... which current Yankee has hit more home runs off Archer than anyone else... it's A-Rod~! He's only 2-for-15 against Archer lifetime, but both those hits left the yard. C'mon, you want Rodriguez (.606 OPS) in your fantasy lineup one more time. He's only owned in 4.9 percent of ESPN leagues at press time. Give the poor guy a break.

Okay, so A-Rod is a shell of his former self. But we're still going to recommend the Yankees at this price. The Rays (46-67, –27.14 units) just aren't very good, and when they faced Sabathia back in April, they lost 6-3 as +104 road dogs. Put us down for 10 slips of gold-pressed platinum, and may the sphere be with you.

Free MLB Pick: Yankees +114
Best Line Offered: at JustBet
Record: 19-19 ML, 7-4-1 Totals (+3.97 units)

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