Should the New York Yankees be worried about supposed ace pitcher Masahiro Tanaka? I would be if I was them as Tanaka has looked anything but like a No. 1 at times this season. He’s on the mound Saturday as the Yankees play Game 2 of their series at Tampa Bay. New York is coming off a 3 game series against the Kansas City Royals, winning 2-1. For Tampa Bay, they also come from a victorious series win against the Cleveland Indians. The Yank swill still be slight MLB betting favorites.
How to Bet on NY Yankees at Tampa Bay MLB Saturday Prediction
Final: Royals 5, Yankees 1.
Took 2 out of 3 in KC. Next up: 3-game series in Tampa Bay.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 19, 2017
When: Saturday, May 20, 4:10 PM ET
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg
Probable pitchers (away/home): Masahiro Tanaka/Matt Andriese
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Radio: New York / Tampa Bay
Opening MLB Lines: TBA
Why Bet On New York?
Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro is better than Derek Jeter!
OK, that’s obviously not true. But on Wednesday vs. the Royals, Castro went 3-for- 4 and the 27-year- old passed the 1,200-hit mark. He has more hits now than Jeter did through age 27 (1,201 to 1,199). Castro is having a fine season, hitting .351. He believes he could win the batting title. “I think I can do it,” Castro said, who ended Wednesday’s game trailing Seattle’s Jean Segura, who leads the American League at .359. “I know the talent I have.”
Castro is slugging .597 off fastballs compared to .420 in 2016. He is also controlling the lower half of the strike zone. The previous two seasons, he hit .276 on low pitches, but in 2017 is hitting .345 on them. Castro often gets off to a hot start. When the weather warms he tends to cool down. In June and July, he is a career .256 hitter.
So what’s going on with Masahiro Tanaka (5-2, 5.80)? Tanaka was bombarded for eight runs on seven hits and one walk across just 1.2 innings in Sunday’s loss to the Astros. Tanaka endured a nightmare first inning which saw George Springer and Josh Reddick start with back-to-back home runs before Alex Bregman capped off the initial barrage with a grand slam. He allowed another homer to Springer in the second inning and was chased from the game after yet another run came around. Tanaka had won each of his previous five starts, allowing a total of 11 earned runs in that span.
The Yankees opened the season at Tampa Bay and Tanaka was on the mound. Tanaka, who had baseball’s lowest ERA in spring training, was tagged for a then career-worst seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. Tanaka made his third consecutive opening day start for the Yankees, and had been 6-0 with a 2.82 ERA in eight career starts against Tampa Bay. He gave up eight hits and two walks.
He has already surrendered 10 home runs in 45 innings, and the opponents’ batting average against him is a hefty .291 through eighth outings.
Why Bet On Tampa Bay?
The Rays are without second baseman Brad Miller, who was a huge power surprise last year in hitting a by far a career-high 30 homers. In his previous three seasons, all with Seattle, Miller had 29 dingers. On Thursday, Miller, who is hitting just .205 with two homers, was placed on the DL. Miller was running to first base on his third hit of Monday night when he felt "something tweak" in his lower abdomen. He hadn’t played since.
“I thought it would be all right, but I woke up (Tuesday) morning and I was pretty stiff,” Miller said. “I came and did all my treatment and I just couldn’t go.”
Rookie Daniel Robertson has been playing second. To add some infield help in case Miller is out longer than expected, the Rays acquired Michael Martinez from the Cleveland Indians. Martinez was designated for assignment by Cleveland last weekend. The veteran utilityman is a .200 career hitter in 592 major league plate appearances. He’s just depth.
The Rays go with Matt Andriese (3-1) here. Andriese limited the Red Sox to two runs over five innings Sunday for his third win. Andriese walked four but held a dangerous Boston offense to just four hits. He struck out five. The 27-year- old right-hander now stands 3-1 with a 3.18 ERA and 42 strikeouts over 45 1/3 innings this season, though his peripheral numbers aren’t as spectacular.
Andriese faced the Yankees on April 13 and came away with a no-decision after allowing one run on five hits in six innings.
NY Yankees at Tampa Bay MLB Betting Pick: NY Yankees
Tanaka usually pitches well vs. the Rays so I’ll give him one more shot here.