The Yanks gained a game on Toronto Friday night, and this handicapper hit with New York against the run line. Both we and the Pinstripes hope for similar results Saturday afternoon.
Rays-Yankees Saturday Odds
As of early Saturday AM the best price available on New York and Nathan Eovaldi was the -173 at 5Dimes, while BetOnline was giving Tampa and Matt Moore +167. And most of today's MLB betting market listed a total on today's game of 8.5 runs.
New York took the opener of this series Friday night 5-2, getting a quality outing from young Luis Severino while hitting three home runs.
So the Yanks have won three games in a row and six of their last seven, while Tampa has lost seven of its last 11.
Friday's victory helped New York gain a game on Toronto in the AL East; the Yanks now trails the first-place Jays by just a half-game. They also now lead the AL wild-card race by five games over second-place Texas, 6.5 games over third-place Minnesota.
The Rays, meanwhile, at 66-68 now trail the Rangers by 4.5 games in that scrum for the second AL wild-card slot.
The Yankees lead this season series nine games to five, with the UNDERS going 8-5-1.
Eovaldi (14-2, 4.17), by our strict standards, is only 10-for-26 on quality starts this season, but two for his last three. Last Sunday he gave up five runs in five innings against Atlanta, but in his two starts before that he held Minnesota and Houston to three runs through 15 innings. On the season Eovaldi has allowed more hits, 170, than innings pitched, 149, although he's managed to keep the ball in the ballpark, for the most part, giving up just 10 gopher balls, while compiling a 114/45 strikeouts/walks ratio.
New York, thanks to some great run support, is 18-8 in Eovaldi's starts, with the OVERS going 15-11.
In his only career start against Tampa Bay, back in May of this season, Eovaldi gave up four runs and six hits through 7 1/3 innings of a 4-2 Yankees defeat.
Moore (1-3, 8.78) will be making his first start for the Big Club since getting sent to the Minors a month ago. He's 0-for-six on quality starts in the Majors this year, last pitching back on Aug. 1, when he gave up six runs in three innings against Boston. But at Triple-A Durham he might have found something, posting a 3.00 ERA through five starts. On the season Moore has allowed 42 hits through 27 innings, with 13 walks and 17 strikeouts.
The Rays are 1-5 in Moore's starts, with the OVERS going 3-0, with three pushes, if you can believe it.
This will be Moore's first start against New York since 2013, when in five outings against the Pinstripes he gave up 10 runs through 30 1/3 innings; Tampa won three of those five games.
Saturday's Batting Splits
Tampa ranks 25th in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .305 team on-base percentage, and 28th with a .383 team slugging percentage.
New York, on the other hand, ranks third against left-handed pitching with both a .344 team OBP and a .441 team slugging percentage.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Yankee Stadium this season are 31-29 on the OVERS, averaging 9.2 runs per.
New York just placed IF Mark Teixeira on the DL with that shin problem, and OF Jacoby Ellsbury left Friday's game with an illness, and is questionable for today. Also, we wouldn't be too surprised if the Yanks rested a veteran or two today. Bettors may want to check the lineup card before getting down on this game.
Rays-Yankees Free Picks
We split a pair of MLB picks on Friday's contest, hitting with New York against the run line, but missing on the OVER by one run. For Saturday we can't wholeheartedly endorse Eovaldi, because of some of his internals, but we still give the Yanks the edge with the sticks and in the bullpen. So we'll play New York again, and again against the run line. Also, we can see this game getting to 5-4, so we're thinking OVER, again.
MLB Pick: Yankees +116 on the run line & OVER 8.5 runs (+111) at Pinnacle