MLB Picks: Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees

The Tampa Bay Rays (37-35) and New York Yankees (39-32) will open up a four-game American League East series Thursday night at Tropicana Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET

Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees 

The New York Yankees are 15-8 against left-handed starters this season
The New York Yankees are 15-8 against left-handed starters this season

Tampa Bay snapped a three-game losing streak with a 6-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox as +120 road underdogs Wednesday, while going UNDER the betting total for a third consecutive contest.  “You have to beat the people in front of you in the division,” commented Rays manager Joe Maddon after the win.  Offensively, the team will need someone to step up for third baseman Evan Longoria, who has just two hits in 21 career at-bats against Andy Pettitte.  Tampa Bay is 11-9 versus left-handed starters, with the OVER going 10-9-1 in that situation.

Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore (8-3, 4.12 ERA) has dropped three consecutive efforts, including a 7-2 setback at home to the Kansas City Royals last time out, as he allowed five runs and seven hits over 5.1 frames.  The left-hander is 4-1 with a 3.82 ERA in seven road outings, issuing 21 walks and striking out 29 batters in 33 combined frames.  In six career starts versus the Yankees, Moore has compiled a 3-2 record and 3.57 ERA, including a no-decision effort in a 4-3 home loss on May 25.

New York split a doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday, which included a 6-0 defeat in the nightcap as -141 home favorites, while going UNDER the betting total of 8.  The Yankees haven’t won a season series against the Rays since they took 11 out of 18 games in 2009.  MLB handicappers will find that the club is a money-making 15-8 versus left-handed starters this season.  New York is 7-7 at home with a money line of -100 to -125, with the UNDER going 7-6-1 in those 14 opportunities.

Pettitte (5-4, 3.95 ERA) was handed a 5-2 road loss by the Los Angeles Angels last time out, as he allowed four runs and 11 hits over seven frames.  The left-hander is 1-2 with a 5.74 ERA in five home appearances, surrendering just two home runs in 26.2 combined innings.  In 33 career games (32 starts) versus the Rays, Pettitte has tallied a 17-7 record and 3.92 ERA, including a 3-0 road loss on April 24.

Sports bettors will likely back the Yankees due to their 37-14 record in Pettitte’s last 51 starts as a favorite.

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