Dormant Yankees in Tailspin
The gap in the American League East is still nine games, but that’s the smallest it’s been in over two months and the Tampa Bay Rays can make it a bit tighter if they can finish off a three-game sweep over the stumbling New York Yankees on Wednesday. The Rays have won four in a row overall while giving up a total of four runs as their playoff push intensifies behind some solid pitching.
Tampa Bay Pitching Shackling Yankees
Jeffrey Springs and four relievers held the New York Yankees to one run on four hits in Tuesday’s 3-1 win, which came a night after the Tampa Bay Rays utilized five pitchers in a shutout of the Yanks. Overall, the Rays have allowed 21 hits – zero home runs – in 36 innings while recording 37 strikeouts and walking five over the last four games.
The result is a second-place position in the muddy wild card race and their smallest gap behind the Yankees since June 12.
“It’s good to see,” Rays manager Kevin Cash told the media Tuesday. “Our pitching has been outstanding the last two games here.“
Cash also added that winning games in a playoff race in Yankee Stadium “can elevate you a little bit and make you feel that much better.” Another win Wednesday and the Rays will be walking on air as they head home for a relatively easy eight-game homestand against Kansas City and the Los Angeles Angels.
It might be worth factoring in the positive vibes that Tampa Bay is building as you look at the MLB odds in the coming days.
Former Yankee Corey Kluber will try to keep New York’s bats in sleep mode as he gets the start Wednesday. He held the Yankees to one earned run in 12 innings over two prior encounters and has a lifetime 2.33 ERA at Yankee Stadium. However, Kluber owns a 6.91 ERA over his last five starts as he endures a workload he hasn’t seen since 2018.
Deciding which of those items is the biggest factor will inform your bet online at the sportsbook.
Injury News Keeps Getting Worse for Yankees
With Giancarlo Stanton (heel) still away from the team and D.J. LeMahieu (toe) a candidate to go on the injured list, the Yankees’ offense doesn’t have a turnaround in sight. They’ve managed one run in their last three games and it actually came in on an error, although the run was earned for Springs.
New York has wasted back-to-back solid starts by All-Stars Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes, as well as another good one by Jameson Taillon on Sunday at Fenway Park. The team is batting .154 with 73 strikeouts and just eight extra-base hits (four homers) over its last seven games, during which it is averaging 1.3 runs.
It needs a jolt, to be sure, but some are just thankful for the timing of the slump.
“It’s better to have this happen now in August than the first week of playoffs or near the end of the year when you’re getting into the playoffs,” said slugger Aaron Judge, who is 1-for-14 with seven strikeouts during the last four games.
To make matters worse, All-Star closer Clay Holmes, who has been in a rut of his own, told reporters he is dealing with a back issue. The hits, figuratively, keep coming. The hits, literally, do not. And the homestand doesn’t get any easier with Toronto and the New York Mets coming to town, all before a 10-game road trip that includes three in Tampa.
It’s not out of the realm of possibility for the Yankees, once up 15½ games in the American League East, to see that lead down to five or six by Labor Day.
They’ll look to Domingo German for a quality outing in the series finale. He owns a 2.25 ERA over his last three starts after giving up one run in a season-high six innings his last time out. But the 30-year-old owns a 6.40 ERA in his career against Tampa Bay, something to take into account when making your MLB picks.
Rays vs Yankees Head-to-Head
New York still owns a 7-5 season series advantage, having swept the Rays the last time the teams met in the Bronx and taking four of seven earlier meetings in Tampa Bay.
Rays vs Yankees Game Information
- Game: Rays (62-53) vs Yankees (72-45)
- Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
- Day/Time: Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. ET
- Live stream: MLB.tv
Rays vs Yankees Betting Lines
|Team||Run Line||Moneyline||Total||Team Total|
|Tampa Bay Rays
C. Kluber -R
|New York Yankees
D. German -R
Rays vs Yankees Prediction
This is a tricky one. The Yankees look dead in the water, but someone will run into a fastball at some point and turn things around. The Rays are riding high, but Kluber has been in a bit of a rut. Then again, he’s been fantastic in the Bronx over the years. German is on a nice little roll but he’s been battered by Tampa Bay in the past.
Although you can’t put a number on it, the Yanks will be playing with a bit of desperation here. Expect Aaron Boone to pull any string he can to get a win. German will give him every chance to be in this one late and someone will get a big hit for New York.