Date/Time: May 26, 1:40 p.m. EST
Starting Pitchers: New York (Sabathia) Tampa Bay (Cobb)
MLB Gambling Odds from Bookmaker
Moneyline: Rays (-118) Yankees (+108)
The New York Yankees haven’t had much luck at all in Tampa Bay over the last few years. New York is just 5-13 in their last 18 games in Tampa Bay. The Yankees will send Ace C.C. Sabathia to the mound on Sunday afternoon. Can he help the team find a way to win in the dome at Tampa? Let’s take a look at this game.
New York’s comeback win over the Rays in Saturday’s extra innings game had to do a lot for their confidence. The Yankees scored twice in the ninth inning against Rays closer Fernando Rodney to tie the game at 3 after trailing all game. Lyle Overbay then delivered with a solo home run that proved to be the difference in the 11th inning. Mariano Rivera picked up his 18th save by shutting down the Rays in the bottom of the 11th. Rivera is 18 for 18 in save opportunities so far this year.
New York has gotten some huge contributions from unlikely stars early on this year. Overbay, Vernon Wells, and Travis Hafner have been great for the team in 2013. The offense was expected to struggle without the likes of ARod, Jeter, and Tex; but they have ranked near the top of the majors in most offensive categories this year. Curtis Granderson’s recent second injury was a real hit to the offense in the long run. The Yankees pitching staff has been solid, and C.C. Sabathia has been a work horse as normal so far this season.
Tampa Bay started the year really slowly, but they have started to look more like the team people expected to see over the last few weeks. The offense has been absolutely crushing the baseball of late. Evan Longoria has stayed healthy so far this year, and that is a huge key for this team. Longoria is hitting .330 with 9 homers and 29 RBI’s this year. James Loney has been a huge surprise for the Rays, and he leads the team with a .342 average. Tampa Bay is averaging 4.77 runs per game so far this year. The Rays are batting .258 as a team.
The Tampa Bay pitching staff has found a new superstar in Matt Moore. Moore has been dominant this year. In fact, the Rays are 9-1 in Moore’s 10 starts this year. After Moore though, the pitching staff has been a disappointment. Jeremy Hellickson and David Price have been great in recent years, but they aren’t pitching well this year. The bullpen has been one of the worst in baseball all season long. Rodney was excellent as the team’s closer last year, but he has been having trouble finding the strike zone this year. The bullpen will have to pick it up for this team to contend in the AL East.
Free Pick: Under 7.5
Sabathia has been solid all year, and Alex Cobb has actually been the Rays second best pitcher this year. This should be a well pitched game by both starters.