The Tampa Bay Rays take on the New York Yankees in a three-match series at Tropicana Field with the first fixture taking place tonight. The Rays are battling it out with the Orioles at the top of the AL East, and with Baltimore holding a slender lead at the top of the division, the Rays can’t afford any slips. Here we look ahead to the opening match of the series with our latest MLB betting picks.
At the start of the 2023 MLB season, most fans and pundits would have envisioned this mini-series being a top-of-the-division clash. But such has been the abysmal form of the Yankees this season, it’s anything but.
On Wednesday, Aaron Boone’s team did end a nine-match losing streak with a 9-1 win over the Nationals. The win came courtesy of Aaron Judge’s three home runs.
But the Yankees are still miles adrift at the bottom of the AL East, and still in an almighty mess. All that remains for New York this season is trying to limit the damage. And for some, it might even already be too late for that.
Meanwhile, at the top of the AL East, the Tampa Bay Rays are enjoying a great season. They’ve just completed another series win, this time over the Rockies, and are now right on the tails of the Baltimore Orioles, who currently lead the division.
In the latest betting to win the AL East, the best MLB betting sites have the Orioles at -280. They do believe that Brandon Hyde’s team is the real thing. The Rays are second favorites to win the division at odds of +230. The only other franchise in the running is the Toronto Blue Jays, and they are a huge-looking +2500.
Moving on to the betting to win the 2023 World Series, it’s the 2021 champions who lead the betting. Brian Snitker’s Atlanta Braves are +310 to win the title for the second time in three seasons. They sit just ahead of the LA Dodgers in the betting, who are +450.
After the leading two franchises, it’s a bit of an open book. The best MLB World Series betting sites are struggling to separate the Astros (+750), the Rangers (+800), the Orioles (+800), and the Rays (+800). All four are jostling for positions with the best MLB betting sites.
If you’ve just arrived from Mars and looked at the standings in the AL East, you might feel the odds on this match are a touch closer than they might be. But it is understandable. The Yankees do have plenty of quality, as the Nationals found out recently.
But the Rays do justify favoritism. Anything else would be ridiculous.
On the money line, the Rays are -129, the Yankees are +119. Moving onto the spread, the Rays (-1.5) are +160, the Yankees (+1.5) are -180. And finally, the over/under points spread is set at 7.5. Over 7.5 is +100, with under 7.5 at -120. You can read more information about the sites we’ve taken our odds from at our best online sportsbook reviews page.
|Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees Betting|
The Rays warmed up for their series against the Yankees by defeating the Rockies 5-3 on Thursday night to sweep the series and extend their winning streak to four games.
The win means the Rays are now 7-3 in their last ten. But more recently, they have won six of their previous seven.
As for the Yankees, they might have felt they had turned a corner when they defeated the Nationals 9-1 on Wednesday. Not a bit of it! Normal service soon resumed as the Yankees lost the third and deciding fixture of the series 6-5 on Thursday.
The Yankees were 3-1 up after six innings. But four unanswered runs from the Nationals in the seventh turned the match on its head, and the visitors ran out 6-5 winners and took the series by two games to one.
The Yankees are 1-9 in their last ten matches and have lost ten of their previous 11. Overall this season, Aaron Boone’s side is 61-66, and the head coach is looking increasingly likely to lose his job.
As bad as the Yankees have been, anybody who knows anything about MLB knows they have the talent to beat any team on any given day. This makes betting against them dangerous.
But at the same time, how can anybody back them to win in their current form? You can’t, as it’s pretty clear something is badly wrong within the franchise.
No one in their right mind can back the Yankees on the handicap market at an odds-on price. And it’s a risk backing them on the money line. Also, the Rays are in good form, so it makes more sense to back them.
So for our first pick, we’re going with the Rays to win and also cover the spread.
Alternatively, if you are worried about the Yankees turning in a performance, then the +100 available on over 7.5 looks good on the over/under market, so take that instead. The majority of both franchise’s recent fixtures have covered that amount in recent days.
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