Date/Time: Friday, June 22, 7:05 p.m. (ET)
Television: MLB Extra Innings
MLB Betting Odds: VietBet
Money Line: Tampa Bay (+106) New York (-116)
Total Line: 8
Tampa Bay drew first blood against its bitter AL East rivals in Game 1 of this extended weekend series with an 8-3 pounding on Thursday night as a slight 102 road underdog. The total went OVER the eight-run line. It was the Rays second victory in-a-row after losing six of their previous seven games. They are now 38-35 overall with a 17-19 record on the road that has them five games behind Boston for the lead in the division.
The Rays continue to stay in the hunt in the highly competitive AL East despite having a pitching staff that is ranked 13th in American League with a team ERA of 4.31. They have been able to fill this gap with a lineup that is producing and average of 4.78 runs a game. Tampa Bay will go with Roberto Hernandez as its starter for Friday night. The right-hander is 4-7 on the year with a 5.02 ERA. Lifetime against New York he is 1-6 with an ERA of 7.50.
The Yankees remain in the thick of the division race at 39-33 but they have lost seven of their last 10 games to fall 3.5 games back. Thursday’s loss dropped them to 20-15 at home this season and they are just 4-4 in their last eight games at Yankee Stadium. The total has gone OVER in three of their last four games overall.
New York has been able to squeeze quite a bit of juice out of its pitching staff with an overall ERA of 3.81, but numerous injuries throughout its lineup have taken its toll. Robinson Cano leads the team with 43 RBI and 16 home runs, but as a whole, the Yankees are ranked 14th in the AL in hitting with a .238 team batting average and 12th in average runs scored with 3.88. They will send David Phelps to the mound as their starter for Game 2. The right-hander is 4-4 with an ERA of 4.08, but he has already notched a win against the Rays this year in a 9-4 victory on May 24 in which he went 7 2/3 innings.
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Last night’s win gave Tampa Bay a slight 4-3 edge in this year’s series, but the back-and-forth nature of this matchup points to the Yankees evening things up with a win on Friday night. Phelps has the clear advantage on the mound and New York’s bats come through with enough runs to get the win.
New York 4 Tampa Bay 3