Tampa Bay and the New York Yankees begin a crucial series on Monday night in Tropicana Field. The Yankees are in must-win territory to keep home field advantage in the upcoming wild card game. The Rays will end up falling just short of an unimaginable postseason appearance.
Yankees hoping for more consistency to end the regular season
New York remains quite inconsistent on the offensive end, but they do have 32 total runs over their last five games prior to the series finale against Baltimore on Sunday. First baseman Luke Voit (.302 avg) has been red-hot at the plate — four of his last seven hits have been home runs over a four-game span, and he’s registered eight total RBIs. Pitching remains an ongoing issue, however, with the bullpen collapsing in multiple games over the past few weeks.
Probable starter: Right-hander Luis Severino (18-8, 3.38 ERA)
Severino has now accomplished back-to-back great starts for the Yankees, making him an early good candidate for the wild card game next week. Against Minnesota and Boston, he gave up 2 total earned runs on 10 hits through a span of 12.2 innings with a ratio of 11 Ks to 1 BB.
Rays’ magical run finally comes to an end in Toronto
Tampa Bay saw their slim postseason hopes collapse in Toronto over the weekend. They collapsed in the final inning of the opener on Thursday, and with another loss on Saturday, they could end up being officially eliminated by the start of this series. They only scored two runs in their loss on Saturday, but they’ve really been chugging along offensively with 5.4 runs per nine innings over the last 10 games.
Probable starter: To be announced
It’s unknown who the Rays will put in for this game, but it will very likely be somebody that only goes for an inning or so. Reliever Diego Castillo (3-2, 3.25 ERA) has been a frequent starting setup man after Blake Snell; he’s allowed one run over his last four appearances.
- Under is 8-2 in their last 10 meetings in Tampa Bay
- Under is 20-8-1 in their last 29 games against teams winning above 60%
- 12-3 in their last 15 against AL East teams
- 41-20 in their last 61 during game 1 of a series
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Now that the bottom is finally starting to fall out for the Rays, this is probably a great opportunity to cash in with the Yankees. Tampa Bay has had this team’s number most of the season, but there’s a lot more to play for in New York with a hot Oakland team trailing them.
Prediction: NY Yankees
Full-Game Total Pick
In five straight meetings between these teams dating back to July 24th, the under has landed consecutively. There’s been plenty of pitching duels between these teams, and that should cool off these offenses that have been drilling the ball over the past week.