MLB Picks: Yankees vs. Rays 5/11/21

by | May 11, 2021 | mlb

New York Yankees (18-16) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (19-17)

When: 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 11

Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Moneyline: NYY -125/TB +115 (BAS - Odds cost less here! You SAVE MONEY every time you bet! Why would you pay more elsewhere?)

Runline: Yankees -1.5/Rays +1.5

Total: 8

Starting Pitchers: Jordan Montgomery (1-1, 4.41 ERA, 1.13 WHIP) vs. Ryan Yarbrough (2-3, 4.58 ERA, 1.34 WHIP)

Nice to See You Again

After struggling through the first two weeks of the season, the Rays have pulled themselves back to their usual spot in the thick of the AL East race, and now they get the opponent they need in the Yankees. That’s not a statement most teams would ever consider making, but it makes sense in the case of the Rays because they’ve dominated New York for the past two seasons.

The 2020 ALDS meeting between the teams was notable only because the Yankees actually managed to push Tampa Bay to a fifth and decisive game, one of the few times that New York has made things close between themselves and the Rays since the pandemic started. Since COVID, the Yankees have won just five times against 15 wins for Tampa Bay, making this battle of old money vs. no money into a bit of a landslide in the Rays’ favor.

Bronx Non-Bombers

The Rays having hitting problems isn’t anything overly surprising, but the Yankees continuing to struggle at the dish remains a major surprise. Other than DJ LeMahieu, who has only gone two games in May without getting a hit, New York has been a mess at the plate, hitting just .222 as a team. That puts the Yankees at 25th in the majors in batting average, and it only gets worse from there unless you’ve been betting on the Yan-kees to go under.

For the year, New York is one of only two teams (the other is San Diego) to hit the under 20 times this season, and the past four games have underscored the Yankees’ lack of offense, as they’ve scored no more than four runs in any of them. The one positive for the Yankees is that four runs might be enough to get the job done against the Rays if New York can get there because Tampa Bay hasn’t exactly been hitting the ball all that well either. In the Rays’ past five games, they’ve only managed to get above four runs once.

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Striking Efficiency

Efficiency hasn’t exactly been Ryan Yarbrough’s MO this year, as he’s had three games where he gave up nine hits or more, including a disaster a month ago that saw him give up nine runs through five innings against Bos-ton. But against the Yankees, efficiency was the name of the game for Yarbrough, who faced just 20 hitters in five innings and allowed a mere two hits in the contest.

Yarbrough has only been a starter for last season and this year, so it’s far from a certain thing that he will con-tinue to have the same success against the Yankees. But it’s definitely something that the Yankees will have in their minds when they go up against a pitcher who has shown he can get through their lineup twice before handing the game over to the bullpen. Statistically, Yarbrough’s presence on the mound should actually be helpful to the Yankees, considering that New York hits 60 points higher against left-handers than it does against right-handers. But Yarbrough has shown he has no fear of the Yankees, and with New York struggling at the plate, he might have the upper hand here.

Betting Trends

  • The Yankees are 5-1 in their past six games following a win.
  • The Yankees are 7-2 in their past nine games overall.
  • The Rays are 6-2 in their past eight games overall.
  • The Rays are 35-16 in their past 51 games against the AL East.
  • The under is 4-0 in the Yankees’ past four road games.
  • The under is 7-2 in the Rays’ past nine home games.
  • The Yankees have lost four of their past five visits to Tampa Bay.
  • The Rays are 21-8 in their past 29 meetings against the Yankees.

Weather Report

The roof on Tropicana Field means that the weather won’t play any role in this matchup.

Dan’s pick

With these pitchers being about equal and the Yankees not getting the job done at the plate right now, this is a good time to try taking a live dog, and that means gambling on the Rays to get the win. New York does hit lefties better than righties, but the Yankees seem to be in a team-wide slump, and even LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton have been striking out more often than they usually do.

Paying juice with a team in that situation isn’t something I want to do, even if it is the Yankees facing a left-hander. I’ll take the Rays here. Rough week? Spruce up your bankroll with a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets Sportsbook! Don’t re-deposit and get NOTHING!