Yankees vs Rays MLB Lines & Expert Pick.

Yankees vs Rays MLB Lines & Expert Pick

Written by on July 4, 2019

The Tampa Bay Rays don’t draw flies at awful Tropicana Field, but there should be a good crowd on Thursday because the New York Yankees are in town and of course it’s the July 4 holiday. The Yanks will be favored on the MLB Odds, although the pitching matchup is still uncertain.

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Why Bet on NY Yankees?

One notable item here: Broadcaster John Sterling has worked 5,060 consecutive Yankees games, including the postseason, first on the radio and currently on the YES TV Network. However, the 81-year-old will take this weekend off and not travel to Tampa Bay. Sterling is a bit under the weather so he gets a nice vacation through the All-Star break.

On Tuesday, the Yankees’ MLB record streak of 31 straight games with at least one homer ended as they lost 4-2 to the Mets. The previous time the Bombers failed to homer was May 25 in the second game of a doubleheader against the Royals.

The Yankees have dealt with more injuries this year than any team and yet another has landed on the injured list this week in first baseman Luke Voit. He suffered an abdominal strain in London vs. Boston on Saturday. Losing Voit is a huge blow for the Yankees, who have now put 22 players in the IL in 2019. He was an All-Star snub in hitting .280 with 17 homers and 50 RBI with a .901 OPS. While he hit only three long balls in June, Voit was one of the team’s most consistent bats throughout June. He hit .333/.442/.517 with a .960 OPS.

Mike Ford was recalled from Triple-A Scranton to take Voit’s spot on the roster. Ford has hit .318 with 19 home runs and 50 RBI in 59 games with the Railriders. Edwin Encarnacion could take over most days at first base for Voit, though his subpar defense makes him better suited for a designated hitter. Ford could see time at DH or first base. The Yankees could also use the DH spot to rest players. Utility infielder DJ LeMahieu could see more time at first, with Gio Urshela filling in at the hot corner.

Lefty JA Happ is on the mound for New York, which skipped his last turn the rotation. Happ allowed eight runs on 11 hits over four-plus innings in a loss to the Astros on June 23 in his last start. When Jose Altuve led off the game with a homer, it hinted that Happ would be in for a long afternoon. The Astros banged out three homers among their 11 hits — including a Tyler White grand slam — chasing Happ after Yordan Alvarez’s two-run homer in the fifth scored their eighth run.

The loss was Happ’s first since May 4, dropping him to 7-4 with a 5.23 ERA through 16 starts. He faced the Rays in the start before that, allowing two runs in five innings.

Team Stats

Offense
  • Runs: 5.75
  • Hits: 9.07
  • Walks: 3.75
  • Strike Outs: 8.81
Defense
  • Runs: 4.48
  • Hits: 8.49
  • Walks: 3.01
  • Strike Outs: 9.23

Why Bet on Tampa Bay?

The Rays own the majors’ best record in games decided by 3 runs or more (37-16), ahead of the Yankees (31-15).

The Rays avoided disaster on Tuesday when infielder Brandon Lowe was removed from the game against the Orioles with a leg injury. Lowe fouled a ball hard off his right leg during an at-bat in the bottom of the sixth inning. He stayed in the game and ultimately singled to left field but struggled to get down the first-base line and was then replaced by Yandy Diaz. Lowe homered in the bottom of the first inning and finished the night 3-for-3 with two RBI. X-rays turned up negative on Lowe’s right leg but he might still miss a few games with a leg bruise.

Lowe hit his team-high 16th homer of the season, tying Evan Longoria’s rookie record for home runs before the break, in the first inning. Lowe’s homer was his first since June 16, and he had been struggling through a 3-for-25 stretch before Tuesday’s three-hit game. Lowe’s 49 RBIs also leads the Rays. The return of Yandy Diaz last week from the injured list, along with Joey Wendle’s return nearly three weeks ago, had given the Rays a healthy infield for the first time this season.

Yankees vs Rays should be an easy victory for New York.

With Lowe and first baseman Ji-Man Choi both banged up, the Rays are calling up rookie Mike Brosseau. Brosseau spent six days with Tampa Bay at the end of June but was given only eight plate appearances. The 25-year-old infielder has posted a .311/.404/.578 batting line with 14 home runs and 57 RBI in 67 games this season at the Triple-A level.

As is often the case, the Rays haven’t listed a starter as they will use an “opener.” It might be Ryne Stanek. He served as the opener in a win over the Orioles on Monday and fired two scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk while recording one strikeout. The 27-year-old right-hander has allowed five runs overall in his last 10 appearances, although only three have been earned. He has shut out the opposition altogether in six of those outings and boasts a 2.13 ERA, .204 BAA and .257 wOBA allowed across 38.0 innings as an opening pitcher.

It could also be Yonny Chirinos (7-4). Chirinos posted a quality start in Friday’s loss to the Rangers, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits over his six innings of work. The right-hander walked four and struck out five on the night. The 25-year-old has done a nice job for the Rays this season, compiling a 3.10 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 76/21 K/BB ratio across 93 innings.

Team Stats

Offense
  • Runs: 4.61
  • Hits: 8.82
  • Walks: 3.24
  • Strike Outs: 9.43
Defense
  • Runs: 3.62
  • Hits: 7.51
  • Walks: 2.93
  • Strike Outs: 9.57

Yankees vs Rays MLB Betting Trends

  • Yankees are 7-0 in Happ’s last 7 starts vs. American League East
  • Over is 5-0-1 in the last 6 meetings in Tampa Bay
  • Rays are 1-8 in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
  • Yankees are 6-1 SU in their last 7 games this season
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of NY Yankees’ last 7 games against an opponent in the American League
  • Rays are 5-2 SU in their last 7 games this season
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Tampa Bay’s last 7 games played in July

Expert Final Score Prediction for Yankees vs Rays

New York Yankees 5 – Tampa Bay Rays 3

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