Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees Odds & Picks

September 2, 7:05 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Rays +117/Yankees -127
9un -113

After splitting the first two games of this testy AL East series Tampa and the Yankees meet for a rubber match Wednesday night in the Bronx. How are we playing this game with our free MLB pick?

MLB Betting Odds

Wednesday's MLB betting odds at Pinnacle opened this game at Yankees -110 with an over/under of 8.5ov -110 runs. Early betting action then steamed the Yanks to -127 asnd the O/U line to 9un -113.

Rays vs. Yankees Set-Up

Tampa took the opener of this series Monday night 5-3, but New York won Tuesday night by that same score, 5-3. The Rays won Monday as +135 underdogs on the MLB betting odds against Gerrit Cole while the Yankees won Tuesday as -150 favorites. Also, Monday's game played over a total of 7.5 runs while Tuesday's game stayed under its total of nine runs.

With Tuesday's win, New York is 4-1 over its last five games, although that follows a seven-game losing skid. Even with Tuesday's loss, Tampa is 19-4 over its last 23 games. At 25-12, overall, the Rays lead the AL East by 3.5 games over the 20-14 Yankees. Tampa also leads Oakland by a game and a half in the battle for the best record in the American League. Meanwhile, New York leads Toronto by two games for second place in the AL East, and second place makes the playoffs this season.

Tampa leads the season series with the Yankees seven games to two.

Wednesday's Starting Arms

Lefty Montgomery is only 1/5 on quality starts this season, but he's been pretty good lately. Last Friday, he held the Mets to three runs – two earned – on five hits through five innings, with six strikeouts against zero walks, although the Yankees lost that game 6-4. And over his last three starts, he's allowed six ER and 12 hits through 14 2/3 innings, with one walk and 14 whiffs.

The Yanks are 3-2 with Montgomery this year, with the totals splitting 2-2-1. Over five career starts against Tampa Bay, Montgomery allowed eight ER and 22 hits through 20 1/3 innings. New York won three of those five games. Morton is making his first start since Aug. 9, after doing time on the IL with a sore shoulder. For the season, he's 0/4 on quality starts, although he's come close to a QS a couple of times. In his first start of this season five weeks ago against Toronto, he gave up six runs in four innings. But over his last three starts, he allowed just four runs and 14 hits through 12 2/3 innings. Tampa is 2-2 with Morton this year, with the totals splitting 2-2.

Over his last five starts against the Yankees, four last year, and one earlier this year, Morton allowed 10 ER and 18 hits through 23 1/3 innings. The Rays won three of those five games.

Wednesday's Batting Splits

Tampa is batting .231 against left-handed pitching this season, with a .331 team OBP and a .418 team slugging percentage.

New York is batting .252/.344/.463 vs. right-handed pitching this season. But this unit is down three pretty good sticks in Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gleyber Torres, all out with injuries.

The Bullpens

The Tampa bullpen owns a 3.97 ERA this season and a 1.29 WHIP. This unit will probably get called upon early Wednesday, with starter Morton perhaps on a very short leash.

The Yankees pen owns a 4.36 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. This unit was also bolstered recently by the returns of Aroldis Chapman and Zack Britton.

MLB Betting Trends

  • Tampa is 13-7 on the road this season.
  • New York is 13-6 at home this season.
  • Tampa is 6-5 against left-handed starters this season.
  • New York is 17-10 against right-handed starters this season.

Totals Report

  • Overs are 18-16 in Rays games this season.
  • Totals are split 15-15 in Yankees games this season.
  • Totals are split 8-8 in games played at Yankee Stadium this season.

Rays vs. Yankees Prediction 9/2/20

All things considered, it looks like the oddsmakers had this game pegged about right when they opened it at a pick 'em. The pitching match-up is about a wash; the Yanks might own an edge with the sticks, but they're missing three, and while Tampa might hold the better bullpen numbers, New York just got a couple of guys back. Ultimately, the early betting action on the Yankees, now favored by a buck and quarter, offers to us what looks like good betting value with the underdog Rays.
Free Pick: 
Take the Rays +117
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