Yankees Look to Sabathia for First Win on Rays' Turf

C. C. Sabathia

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 4:26 PM GMT

Tuesday, Apr. 4, 2017 4:26 PM GMT

The Yankees hope to avoid an 0-2 start at Tampa with veteran CC Sabathia squaring off against the Rays' Jake Odorizzi on Tuesday night. Pick and betting preview here.

New York Yankees (0-1)

Despite posting the best record in spring training, the Yankees lost their sixth straight season opener 7-3 versus the Rays on Sunday, the longest streak in franchise history. Now the good news for fans: New York has rebounded to win half of its follow-up efforts.

Veteran lefty CC Sabathia, who went 9-12 with a 3.91 ERA in 2016, is set to start Tuesday for the Pinstripers. Sabathia is 14-14 with a 3.84 ERA against Tampa lifetime, but the numbers aren’t as good at the Trop. The Yankees, in fact, are just 5-13 SU when the 16-year pro commands the hill in Tampa. However, the team has won each of his last three outings.

Tampa’s current lineup pounds Sabathia. As a group, it is hitting .365 with a whopping 1.140 OPS. Evan Longoria, who popped a 2-run homer in the opener, has seven long balls total with 16 RBIs in 86 plate appearances. Steven Souza (1), Derek Norris (1), and Kevin Kiermaier (2) have all gone yard as well.

The Yankees went 7-24 as road underdogs against AL East foes last season, 0-4 at Tampa. Oddsmakers opened New York at +113 for Tuesday night, but the line has crossed the fence in early wagering with New York surpassing -110 at many betting outlets game day morning.

 Tampa Bay Rays (1-0)

Tampa has inaugurated a new season 2-0 just twice in the last 15 years. No. 2 starter Jake Odorozzi is tasked with making it a third. Odorozzi went 10-6 with a 3.69 ERA last year, but was a workhorse overall. The right-hander registered a whopping 17 no-decisions, tying the White Sox’s Jose Quintana in 2013 for most all-time since MLB began recording the stat in 1913.

The current New York roster is hitting just .234 as a group against Odorizzi, but produce long balls often. They have 26 hits in 111 at-bats, yet eight have been home runs. Six different Yankees have hit a bomb. The Rays are 20-29 all-time when Odorizzi yields a home run.

Sabathia is in the final year of his contract. Age, and wear and tear on his knee and arm, will likely hit him hard this season. He had a very rough spring training, gifting 11 earned runs in 12.1 innings. How it translates to his first start is the big question. Last year, he posted a 5.51 ERA in the spring and coughed up three earned in each of his four April outings. The southpaw will also need time to work out the kinks with new everyday catcher Gary Sanchez, the latter picking UP Sabathia once all last season. Give the Rays the edge here. Tampa -102 is the pick.

Free MLB Picks: Tampa Bay -102Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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