AL East Rivals Clash Again
So how many people have a mid-August pitching matchup between Jeffrey Springs and Nestor Cortes as one of the games to watch among teams eyeing postseason berths?
The Rays struck first in the series as five pitchers combined on a seven-hit shutout while Yandy Diaz drove in two runs in the 4-0 win on Monday. The Yankees struck out 12 times and had just one extra-base hit.
The New York Yankees are now 8-16 since the MLB All-Star break.
The Yankees still have a 10-game lead in the American League East standings with Tampa Bay now tied with Toronto for second place in the division. The Yankees didn’t lose any ground on Houston in the quest to have the best record in the American League.
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.
Springs Solid Since Returning for Rays
Jeffrey Springs missed nearly three weeks during the month of July as Tampa Bay Rays tried to remain in playoff contention. Since he returned to action, he has quickly returned to being one of the most reliable pitchers on the Tampa Bay staff.
Springs is 1-1 with a 2.66 ERA in his last four outings. On a team when it is not uncommon for a starting pitcher to have a short outing, Springs has pitched at least five innings in three of those outings. In his first two starts in August, Springs had a 1.64 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 11 innings. He allowed five hits and two runs with six strikeouts in six innings in his only other game against the Yankees this season.
Last year, working out of the bullpen, he allowed five hits and two runs in eight innings against New York.
The MLB betting lines total has gone under in four of Tampa Bay’s last five games on the road against the Yankees.
Can Cortes Stop Bleeding for Yankees?
It was highly unlikely that Nestor Cortes was going to continue on the blistering pace he set at the start of the season when he had a 1.70 ERA and 4-1 record during his first nine starts. He had his struggles in June, and in his first two starts in August, he had two no-decisions and a 3.97 ERA.
While it is too early for the Yankees to worry about potentially losing control of the AL East race, the recent struggles are a cause for concern. Gerrit Cole wasn’t able to get the Yankees back on the winning track in the opening game of the series as New York was shut out for the second game in a row.
Cortes was 3-0 in his six appearances in July and could easily be 2-0 in August. He has only allowed four hits in 11.1 innings, although his five walks have been an issue. Cortes is 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA in three starts against the Rays this season.
Five of the last six games for the Yankees have gone under the Las Vegas odds total while 10 of the last 13 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 7-4 record against the Rays this season.
Four of the last six meetings have been decided by one run with the Yankees winning three of those games.
The Rays are hitting just .181 against the Yankees. Isaac Parades has four of the nine home runs hit by Tampa Bay against the Yankees. The Yankees are only hitting .184 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 61-53 (tied for second in the AL East); Yankees 72-44 (first in the AL East)
- Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
- Day/Time: Tuesday, Aug 16, 7:05 p.m. ET
- Rays vs Yankees Live stream: MLB.tv
Rays vs Yankees Betting Lines
|Team||Run Line||Moneyline||Total||Team Total|
|Tampa Bay Rays J. Springs -L||+1½ -155||+145||7 -110o||
|New York Yankees N. Cortes -L||-1½ +135||-165||7 -110u||
Rays vs Yankees Prediction
Will the Yankees actually score a run? The Yankees lead the majors with 192 home runs and are second behind the Los Angeles Dodgers with 596 runs scored. However, the Yankees are just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position in the last two games as they were blanked in the series finale against Boston and in the season opener against Tampa Bay.
The Yankees have scored three runs or less in each of the last six games. At some point, this offense is due to break out. The Yankees have slightly better offensive splits against left-handed pitching so could this be the night?
The good news for Tampa Bay is that infielder Brandon Lowe, who was questionable with a shoulder injury, returned to action on Monday. For the Yankees, infielder D.J. LeMahieu missed the game due to an injured toe.