The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees wrap up their three-game series at Yankee Stadium in New York on Sunday, April 18, so I’ve prepared the best betting pick and odds for this marquee matchup between the AL East foes.
The Rays have an opportunity to sweep the old foe away from home, but the Yankees open as huge -245 moneyline odds on DraftKings Sportsbook. Gerrit Cole will toe the slab for the Bombers who desperately need to get things going in 2021.
Tampa hopes for a good bullpen day
The Tampa Bay Rays are 7-8 on the season following Saturday’s 6-3 victory over the Yankees. Interestingly, four of Tampa’s seven wins so far came against the Bombers, while Kevin Cash’s boys managed to drop six games against the Red Sox and Rangers.
The Rays score 4.14 runs per contest (21st in the majors) while slashing .225/.312/.371 which are all below league averages. They smacked three home runs Saturday to increase their tally to 16 on the season.
Andrew Kittredge will get the starting nod Sunday which means a bullpen day for the Rays. The 31-year-old right-hander is 2-0 in four relief appearances, posting a 1.69 ERA and 1.31 WHIP through 5.1 innings of work.
Kittredge owns a 4.09 ERA and a 2-1 record in 17 games and 22 frames of work against the Yankees in his career, while the Rays’ relievers have the third-worst ERA in baseball this season (5.72).
The Yankees look to break out of their slump
The New York Yankees are on a four-game losing streak following that 6-3 defeat on Saturday afternoon, as their offense struggled once more. Tyler Glasnow had problems with control and lasted for just five innings, but the Bombers couldn’t find the right rhythm at the plate.
New York is now 5-9 on the young season, sitting bottom of the AL East. The Yankees score only 3.85 runs per contest (24th in the MLB) while slashing .222/.306/.360. Their slugging percentage is the third-worst in the majors, and the Bombers hit just 15 round-trippers in 14 outings.
Gerrit Cole will get his fourth start in 2021 on Sunday. The 30-year-old right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.47 ERA and 0.82 WHIP, posting a 29/3 K/BB ratio through 18.1 innings of work. Last time out, Cole tossed six frames of a one-run ball in a 3-1 victory at the Toronto Blue Jays.
- 3-16 in the last 19 outings as underdogs of +200 or more
- 7-2 in Gerrit Cole’s last nine starts
Gerrit Cole aims for his first win over the Rays. He’s 0-3 with a 4.07 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in seven career starts against Tampa. Cole will be fired up to finally beat the Rays, as well as the entire Yankees’ lineup that is struggling mightily at the moment.
The Rays’ bullpen has been shaky thus far. On the other side, the Yankees’ relievers own the third-best ERA in baseball. I just hope the Yankees’ bats will show up and support their top-notch pitching staff for Sunday’s clash against the reigning American League champs.
Pick: Take New York Yankees -1.5 at -125
I choose this game because of the Yankees’ slump and Gerrit Cole’s awful record against the Rays. They should bounce back, so the Yankees to win and cover remain my best betting pick for Sunday.
The totals could easily go either way. The Rays ‘pen is better than its 5.72 ERA. Also, the Yankees’ bats are way better than their current record. The over is 4-1 in the last four encounters between these two foes, and it is 3-1 in Cole’s previous four starts against the Rays.
Pick: Go over 8.0 runs at -110