AL East Heavyweights Meet for First Time in 2022

Yankees On Historic Run, Tampa Can Change its Fate

The New York Yankees get all the attention but it’s the Tampa Bay Rays that have run the American League East of late, winning the last two division crowns and dominating the Bronx Bombers along the way. They’ll look to chip away at the Yankees’ lead in the division when the teams tangle for four straight at Tropicana Field. Both teams are coming off wins, something to consider when analyzing the Yankees vs Rays series odds.

Game Information

  • Game: New York Yankees (31-13) at Tampa Bay Rays (26-17)
  • Location: Tropicana Field
  • Day/Time: Thursday, 6:40 p.m. ET
  • Television: YES, SUN, MLB Network

Yankees vs Rays Probable Starting Pitchers

  • Thursday: Nestor Cortes (Yankees) vs TBD (Rays)
  • Friday: Jameson Taillon (Yankees) vs Jeffrey Springs (Rays)
  • Saturday: Gerrit Cole (Yankees) vs Corey Kluber (Rays)
  • Sunday: Luis Severino (Yankees) vs Shane McClanahan (Rays)

Yankees Weathering Injury Storm

New York’s phenomenal surge earlier in the season came amid a healthy stretch for a team that has seen its fair share of injuries in recent years. But that all changed in the past week or so, as the bullpen lost Chad Green for the year and closer Aroldis Chapman to an Achilles issue.

Slugger Giancarlo Stanton went on the IL on Wednesday (calf) and DJ LeMahieu (wrist) was out of the lineup for that night’s win over Baltimore. Joey Gallo did return from the IL, while Josh Donaldson remains out due to COVID protocols.

It means the Yanks are scrambling a bit as they enter the MLB series.

Fortunately for them, none of the issues have hit the rotation as of yet and they’ll have four starters lined up with a collective 2.78 ERA. And it starts with the guy who’s been the best of the bunch in Nestor Cortes, going up against Ryan Yarborough for Tampa Bay. Your New York Yankees betting plans for this series begin with the fact that they have the edge on the mound.

Meanwhile, Rays Getting Healthy

As the Yankees maneuver through some injury issues, Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash was able to welcome back RBI leader Manuel Margot from the IL on Wednesday. Wander Franco returned a day earlier from a brief layoff due to sore legs and had two hits and an RBI in Wednesday’s 5-4 win over Miami..

There could be some fatigue on the mound, however. Four relievers were needed to survive the final four innings vs the Marlins and the first two games of this set will likely see a boatload of bullpen arms in use. Yarborough is not a length guy and then Friday we see Jeffrey Springs, who is still building up after spending April in the pen, he goes on Friday night.

Corey Kluber goes in the third game, but he’s been roughed up in two of his last three starts. Only on Sunday, when Shane McClanahan goes, does Tampa Bay have something certain in its starter.

While this could make for a rocky stretch for the Rays, they have won 19 of 29 MLB matchups with the Yankees over the last two seasons, not including a Division Series win over them in 2020. Tampa Bay outscored New York by a whopping 98-50 margin last year.

Who’s Hot

  • Gleyber Torres, Yankees 2B: Went 4-for-12 with two homers in series against Baltimore.
  • Clay Holmes, Yankees RP: Lowered ERA to 0.38 while picking up his fifth save Wednesday.
  • Harold Ramirez, Rays DH: Homers in back-to-back games.
  • Randy Arozarena, Rays LF: 11-for-21 with two homers and six RBIs over his last five games.

Who’s Not

  • Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Yankees SS: 6-for-33, zero extra-base hits over last nine games.
  • Michael King, Yankees RP: 7.44 ERA over his last six outings.
  • Mike Zunino, Rays C: 17 strikeouts in 39 at-bats over an 11-game span.
  • Taylor Walls, Rays IF: 1-for-27 over last nine games.

Injury Update

  • Stanton (calf): MRI was clean and there’s an expectation he’ll be back when eligible.
  • LeMahieu (wrist): Also had a clean MRI and is expected back in the lineup soon.
  • Jonathan Loaisiga, Yankees RP: Joined Green and Chapman on IL on Wednesday due to right shoulder inflammation.
  • Brandon Lowe, Rays 2B: Out with a back strain, the 39-homer guy from a year ago will be held out of baseball activities for three weeks.
  • Andrew Kittredge, Rays RP: Thrown onto the heap of injured Tampa Bay pitchers, Kitteredge is hopeful his stay on the IL due to back pain is brief.

Yankees vs Rays Series Odds Betting Tips

Pitching, pitching, pitching. The Yankees, aside from their bullpen, are lined up and ready to go this series. The Rays also have plenty of arms, but too many of them are hurt. While New York has taken its lumps against Tampa Bay of late, it should be able to wear out the hosts, who will likely need to make some moves during the series to get available pitchers up.

The Yankees vs Rays series odds should reflect the situation on the mound. Consider taking a look at New York and the moneyline in at least the first three matchups.

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