AL East Rivals Collide
Somebody is going to have to win when the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees meet, right? Since play resumed following the MLB All-Star Game, the Yankees are 8-15 and the Rays are 9-12.
The Yankees still have a 10-game lead in the American League East standings, although they now trail Houston for the best record in the AL. Tampa Bay is still very much in playoff contention, holding down the third wild card spot.
Gerrit Cole can prove that he is the ace that the Yankees believe he is as he gets the ball for the opener. Cole isn’t bursting with confidence these days with a 4.06 ERA over his last eight starts. He does have a 0.93 ERA against Tampa Bay this season. Jalen Beeks will be making just his seventh start of the season for the Rays. He has a 1.50 ERA over his last six games. Unlike Cole, he won’t be asked to eat up innings in Monday’s opener.
According to the MLB playoff odds, the Yankees (+400) are tied for second in the odds to win the World Series. The Rays are well back at +5000 with those odds moving from +4000 in the last 24 hours.
Arozarena Bright Spot for Offensively Challenged Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays are hitting just .228 as a team since the MLB All-Star break. Five of the 14 players with at least 30 at-bats during that stretch are hitting under .200. Randy Arozarena, Brandon Lowe and Yandy Diaz have provided some power with three home runs each. Catcher Francisco Mejia leads the way with a .400 average.
The recent struggles are nothing new. Only four teams in the American League have lower team batting averages than Tampa Bay’s mark of .238. The OPS numbers are even worse with only the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers owning lower marks in the AL.
Arozarena has done what he can to lead the Rays. He tops the team with 15 home runs, 25 doubles, 58 RBIs and 107 hits. Despite 13 other players with more than 100 at-bats, the Rays have struggled to find support for Arozarena.
The MLB betting lines total has gone under in four of Tampa Bay’s last six games against teams from the American League East.
All-or-Nothing Approach Fizzling for Yankees
The home run power for the New York Yankees can be both a blessing and a curse. When the New York hitters are sending balls out of the park, the wins follow. That is obvious as the Yankees still have a double-digit lead in the division race despite the recent struggles.
While the Yankees lead the majors with 192 home runs, they are tied for 10th with 15 homers during the month of August. With a .221 average over the last 12 games, the lack of offensive consistency is catching up to the AL East leaders.
It hasn’t helped that recent acquisitions Frankie Montas and Scott Effross haven’t added much to the pitching staff. Effross has a 4.50 ERA in the month of August while Montas has a 9.00 ERA in his two starts with the Yankees. Aroldis Chapman hasn’t allowed a run in his last eight outings so he has been a bright light in what have been rough times for the Yankees.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 14, 2022
Four of the last five games for the Yankees have gone under the Las Vegas odds total while 10 of the last 12 home games finished over the total.
Rays vs Yankees Head-to-Head
The Yankees have won the last two series against Tampa Bay and have a 7-3 record against the Rays this season.
Four of the last five meetings have been decided by one run, with the Yankees winning three of those games. After the teams combined for just 30 runs in a span of seven meetings, the last two matchups had 18 runs scored.
The Rays are hitting just .177 against the Yankees this season. Isaac Parades has four of the nine home runs hit by Tampa Bay against New York, which is only hitting .180 against Tampa Bay. Aaron Judge has four of the 12 home runs for the Yankees against Tampa Bay in 2022.
Rays vs Yankees Game Information
- Game: Rays 60-53 (third in the AL East); Yankees 72-43 (first in the AL East)
- Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
- Day/Time: Monday Aug. 15, 7:05 p.m. ET
- Rays vs Yankees Live Stream: MLB.tv
Rays vs Yankees Betting Lines
|Tampa Bay Rays
J. Beeks -L
|New York Yankees
G. Cole -R
Rays vs Yankees Prediction
With Cole set to take the mound and the Yankees playing a team struggling as much as they are, it is hard to go against New York in the start of the series against Tampa Bay. It is troubling that the Yankees are just 2-4 in the last six games started by Cole.
The reality, however, is that these games mean more to the Rays, who are fighting for a playoff spot while the Yankees are merely seeing their division lead cut down a little bit.
The series price lists the Yankees at -235 while the Rays are currently at +195.
Keep an eye on the status of infielder Brandon Lowe for the Rays as he is dealing with a shoulder injury. For the Yankees, infielder D.J. LeMahieu is questionable as a result of a toe issue.