Today’s Free MLB Pick: Yankees vs. Rays
New York Yankees (32-13) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (26-18)
When: 7:10 p.m., Friday, May 27
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Moneyline: NYY +100/TB -120 (Everygame - Check out their 200% bonus on your deposit of only $25!)
Runline: Yankees +1.5/Rays -1.5
Starting Pitchers: Jameson Taillon (4-1, 2.95 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) vs. Jeffrey Springs (2-1, 1.32 ERA, 0.80 WHIP)
Picking Their Spots
Most people would have expected the AL East to be a haven for offense, but it hasn’t come close to being the case this season. Far from the days of the Bronx Bombers simply burying everyone in an avalanche of runs, these Yankees win with pitching and defense and figure out the hitting when they need it. Only the Dodgers have given up fewer runs in 2022 than the Yankees, and only Los Angeles and Houston have a better ERA than New York’s 2.98 mark.
It’s why the Yankees have played to the under 24 times this season while building themselves up as a quality team in the process. They’ve emerged as the winningest team in a rugged AL East and look like they’re going to be one of the favorites to claim the pennant in the American League. However, there is a key spot where this could all go wrong: the Yankees have thrown more innings than any of the American League contenders. It’s not something to concern themselves with yet, but it could be worth monitoring as we get deeper into the season: this pitching staff could end up breaking down in the latter part of the year.
If you’re looking for a prop to play, it might be wise to go under on the strikeouts for Jameson Taillon in this contest. That’s because even though Tropicana Field is a pitcher’s park, that has more to do with keeping the ball from carrying when it gets hit, not getting strikeouts.
Plus, Taillon really isn’t the type of pitcher who can go strikeout hunting and succeed. He recorded seven against the White Sox, but that appears to have been a fluke more than anything else. He faced the Orioles twice in his past five starts and only managed to combine to record six strikeouts in that stretch. The Orioles aren’t exactly known for their patience or for putting the bat on the ball, as they have the fourth-highest total for strikeouts in the majors. If you’re not getting them to fan, you’re not likely to have much success against the Tampa Bay lineup.
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Sending a Message
In the early part of the schedule, you might not think there’s much to come out of a division matchup, but the chance to show your biggest competition that you’re going to be a factor is a big step to take in the early parts of the season. The Rays are going to get 15 more shots at the Yankees following this weekend series, so it isn’t the end of the world if the Rays end up taking just one or even none of the four games with the Bronx Bombers.
But what Tampa Bay can’t afford to do is fail to be competitive in the contest. The Yankees have already shown that they’re going to be a factor for the long haul, as they’ve built a 5.5-game lead on the Rays and 7.5 over the Blue Jays to give themselves a big edge in the divisional race. Keep in mind, though, that the Yankees played a very soft early schedule and built their cushion by beating up on the dregs of the American League. The Rays are still in this race and will still be playing for the AL East title when we see the schedules equalize in a couple of months.
More Picks: Get our Houston at Seattle Free MLB Pick for 5/27/22 >>>
- The Yankees are 6-0 in their past six games as an underdog.
- The Yankees are 13-3 in their past 16 games against the AL East.
- The Rays have won five straight when coming off a loss.
- The Rays are 40-14 in their past 54 home games against a right-handed starter.
- The over is 8-2 in the Yankees’ past ten against the AL East.
- The over is 4-1 in the Yankees’ past five games on the road.
- The over is 6-2 in the Rays’ past eight games overall.
- The under is 8-3-2 in the Rays’ past 13 against the AL East.
- The Yankees have won six of the past eight meetings in St. Petersburg.
There’s no weather to speak of under the Rays’ dome in St. Petersburg.
With the Yankees playing as well as they have been as of late, this really isn’t the time to go against them. New York built up some needed momentum in beating the Orioles Wednesday in a shutout and holding the Rays to two runs in a comfortable win on Thursday. The Yankees know their identity and play toward it very well. This might hurt them if they run out of arms late in the year, but we’ll cross that bridge when the time comes.
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