The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees appear as if they will go down to the wire to decide the AL East champion. They wrap up a three-game series in the Bronx on Wednesday. It’s already the final meeting of the regular season between the two.
How to Bet Rays at Yankees MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Wednesday, 7:05 PM ET
- Where: Yankee Stadium
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Charlie Morton or TBA/Jordan Montgomery
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: TBA
The Rays are really banged up with a handful of pitchers and catcher Mike Zunino all on the injured list. Zunino was held out of last Friday’s game due to oblique tightness, and the issue was serious enough that the team saw fit to put him on ice for 10 days. Kevan Smith was recalled in a corresponding move, and he has been sharing time with Michael Perez post-dish while Zunino is sidelined.
Tampa made one minor trade over the weekend, sending first baseman/designated hitter José Martínez to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for two players to be named or cash considerations. Martínez, 32, hit .239/.329/.388 (16-for-67) with two home runs and 10 RBI in 24 games for the Rays. He started 17 games (13 at designated hitter, four at first base), 11 of those against left-handed pitchers, but had started only four of the team’s last 14 games since August 14. To take Martínez’s place on the active roster, the Rays recalled outfielder Randy Arozarena from the alternate training site.
The Rays swept three games at Miami over the weekend and now have five sweeps on the season, four in the in the last six series. Tampa Bay swept Miami in a road series of 3 games (or more) for the third time, following June 8-10, 2012 (3-0) and June 24-26, 2008 (3-0).
As for the Yankees, the Rays entered this series 6-1 against them in 2020, clinching the season series for the first time since 2014 (11-8). The Rays took over first place in the AL East with a 3-game sweep from Aug 18-20 in the Bronx, ending the Yankees run of 22 consecutive days in first.
Tampa Bay has not yet announced a starter for Wednesday but it could be Charlie Morton, who was a Cy Young candidate in 2019. Morton felt good during his latest bullpen session this weekend, clearing the way for his return. He’s been on the shelf for the last three weeks with inflammation in his right shoulder.
“My hope is we insert him, but we are going to let Charlie drive a lot of that,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. The 36-year-old has posted a 5.40 ERA in four starts this year. It’s possible that Morton pitches as soon as Tuesday.Why Bet on NY Yankees?
The Yankees remain without a ton of key guys, led by Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and Giancarlo Stanton. Aaron Hicks made an early exit from Sunday’s game against the Mets due to cramping in both of his calves but is expected to be OK.
Judge was activated from a long injury absence last Wednesday but then got hurt immediately and went back on the injured list with a Grade 1 right calf strain. Judge needed just a minimum IL stay the first time around, but general manager Brian Cashman said “we’ll probably have to give him twice as long as the first time.”
Catcher Gary Sanchez is healthy for the most part but not hitting. The former star catching prospect is utterly lost at the plate this season. Granted, Sanchez only hit .232 in 2019, but injuries slowed him in the second half. He also had a career-best 34 home runs with 77 RBI and was an All-Star. He is batting an awful .134 on the season with a paltry .253 OBP.
It’s lefty Jordan Montgomery (2-1) scheduled for Wednesday. Montgomery wound up with a no-decision against the Mets last Friday, after allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits over his five-plus innings of work. He struck out six on the afternoon and didn’t walk a batter. Montgomery cruised through five innings – allowing only an unearned run in the fifth, but was pulled after allowing back-to-back singles to start the sixth. That’s when Chad Green came on and ultimately served up a game-tying three-run homer to Pete Alonso. Montgomery has a 4.44 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. He hasn’t faced the Rays in 2020.
Perhaps some time in Triple-A would do him good as he regains familiarity with starting every fifth day after missing most of 2018 and 2019 because of Tommy John surgery. But with injuries and COVID-19, Monty was thrust right into the heart of the Bombers’ staff.Expert PredictionRays 5, Yankees 4
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