Rubber Game of Series in Tampa Bay
The Tampa Bay Rays needed something special to break out of a funk and to slow the mighty New York Yankees. They got it Tuesday in the form of a three-homer game from unheralded infielder Isaac Paredes. The seventh such effort in franchise history — as well as a heart-stopping moment when Aaron Judge’s ninth-inning drive to left died at the track — gave the Rays a much-needed 5-4 victory.
That was the eighth straight game between these American League East rivals decided by two runs or fewer. The finale of the intense three-game set is Wednesday night and we’ve got you covered with the MLB picks, stats, injury reports, and MLB odds for the Rays vs Yankees. We have plenty on hand for your MLB predictions.
Montgomery Gets Nod in Finale for Yankees
Jordan Montgomery has had an interesting campaign for the New York Yankees. After nine starts he had a perfectly respectable 3.30 ERA for a team with the best record in baseball but was just 0-1.
Since then, the southpaw is 3-0 with a 1.71 mark, a run you might want to consider when making a bet online at the sportsbook. However, Montgomery will be facing the Rays for the first time since giving up seven runs in 2⅔ innings in the 161st game last season, which prevented the Yankees from clinching a playoff spot.
He will contend with a Tampa Bay lineup that went deep four times in Tuesday’s game after producing just three home runs in its previous nine contests.
The Yankees will be trying to win their seventh straight series. The last one they didn’t win was a four-game series split with the Rays in late May. Their last series loss was May 21-22, when they dropped two of three at home against the Chicago White Sox.
Paredes’ Heroics a Shot in Arm for Ailing Rays
Already pretty banged up, the Tampa Bay Rays placed two outfielders on the injured list Tuesday. Wander Franco is rehabbing and could return soon, but it’s a spare cupboard for manager Kevin Cash, with Paredes one of several fill-ins and replacements on whom the Rays need to rely.
That’s what made his performance on Tuesday so clutch.
“It’s always a tough series against the Yankees and so it’s very important to win against them,” Paredes said. “With the series that we’ve been having up to this, I’m just glad we were able to get a victory out of this.”
Harold Ramirez also went deep while raising his average over .300 (.301) for the first time in over a month. He’s another less-heralded bat Tampa Bay will need in order to weather this tough stretch of injuries; Ramirez batted third for the first time since June 2.
Shane Baz will try to give the makeshift Rays some good innings as he toes the slab in the finale. It’s just his third start since returning from elbow surgery. He was knocked around in his season debut at Minnesota before spinning six scoreless at Baltimore last Friday.
Yankees vs Rays Head-to-Head
The Yankees have a 6-3 season series advantage, although it’s 3-3 in games played at Tropicana Field. After Wednesday, the teams won’t meet again until August 15 in New York.
Yankees vs Rays Game Information
- Game: Yankees (50-18) vs Rays (37-31)
- Location: Tropicana Field
- Day/Time: Wednesday, June 22, 7:10 p.m. ET
- Yankees vs Rays Live Stream: MLB.tv
Yankees vs Rays Betting Lines
|New York Yankees
J. Montgomery -L
|-1½ +120||-140||7 -110o||3½ -130o / 3½ Evu|
|Tampa Bay Rays
S. Baz -R
|+1½ -140||-125||7 -110u||2½ -145o / 2½ +115u|
Yankees vs Rays Prediction
Even though there are over 90 games to go, there has to be a little bit of desperation for Tampa Bay. Prior to Tuesday, it had lost eight of 10 to sink into fourth place in the AL East and, for the time being, out of a playoff position.
Picking up a series win against the Yankees would be massive, especially with a brutal 11-game road trip coming up that includes five at Toronto and three at Boston. If motivation means anything to you when looking at the MLB lines, then take the Rays. They’ve been a good bargain at home, earning moneyline bettors more than $200 for the year on daily $100 wagers, and their 22 home wins overall ranks third only to the two New York teams.
However, there are just too many question marks with the Rays, who now have five regular position players on the IL and several pitchers sidelined. Baz is just two games into his comeback and expecting great results against the Yankees is not realistic.
Unless Paredes has three more homers in him, we like the Yankees to finish this one out.
Pick: New York Yankees -140
“The odds and predictions in the article are based on time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.”