The top two teams in the American East will collide this weekend, as the Tampa Bay Rays host the New York Yankees for a four-games series. Heading into Thursday night’s series opener, the division-leading Yankees hold a 4.5 game lead over the second place Rays. With a successful series, the Rays could significantly close the gap between the two teams. The Yankees also have a chance to increase their division lead.
The Yankees will be short-handed in this series, as Giancarlo was put on the Injured List earlier this week. Between him and Aaron Judge, they were a huge reason why the Yankees have gotten off to a great start. We’ll see how much their offense misses the big bat of Stanton. The Yankees will also be without closer Aroldis Chapman who is also injured. He’ll be replaced by Clay Holmes, who has been lights out this season. Let’s take a look at the weekend series, as this will be a good series to place some bets on the MLB Odds.
The Battle for Supremacy in the American League East | NY Yankees at Tampa Bay
Friday Night Showdown
In Game 2 of the series, the Yankees will send Jameson Taillon to the hill, while the Rays will counter with left-hander Jeffrey Springs. Taillon is 4-1 with a 2.95 ERA this season. In his last outing against the Chicago White Sox, Taillon went 7 strong innings, giving up just five hits and one earned run in a no-decision.
Springs is 2-1 with a 1.32 ERA. The Rays have been getting Springs stretched out, as he rarely goes longer than 5 innings. In his last start against the Baltimore Orioles, Springs was victorious, going 5.2 innings, allowing no runs while striking out 7.
Saturday Afternoon Matinee
The Yankees will send their ace to the mound as Gerrit Cole will take the ball for Aaron Boone’s squad. He will be opposed by reclamation project Corey Kluber. Prior to getting injured a couple of years back, Kluber was one of the top pitchers in the game. This season he’s started 1-2 with a 4.42 ERA. Tampa was hoping that he would revert back to his old self on a team-friendly contract.
Cole hasn’t been as dominant this year as he has been over the past couple of seasons. However, he’s still been very good. He’s 4-1 on the season with a 3.31 ERA. He’s still striking guys out, as he’s recorded 62 punchouts this season. We’ll see which Cole shows up on Saturday.
The Series Finale
Two of the top young starters in the American League will square on in Sunday’s series finale. Tampa Bay strikeout artist Shane McClanahan will be on the bump for Tampa. McClanahan is 4-2 with a 2.06 ERA this season. In his 52 innings pitched, he’s struck out 74 batters. He also has an astonishing 0.88 WHIP. The young fireballer is making a name for himself this season.
McClanahan will be opposed by Luis Severino. After very limited action in 2021 as he came back late in the season from Tommy John surgery, Severino is picking up where he left off prior to the procedure. This season he is 3-0 with a 3.02 ERA. In his 41 innings pitched, he has 43 strikeouts with a 1.18 WHIP.
This pitching matchup should be the best one of the series, and we’re looking forward to watching two of the games up-and-coming pitchers square off.