Rays vs. Yankees MLB Best Bet: Sneaking Under in the Bronx

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Clarke Schmidt #36 of the New York Yankees throws a pitch during the first inning of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on April 06, 2024 in New York City. Dustin Satloff/Getty Images/AFP

MLB Best Bet: Under 9 (-110) at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)

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Under 9 (-110)
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We have a typically full Friday card of Major League Baseball matchups with all 30 MLB teams in action. As usual, we are here with our three plays for the day that we feel hold the most betting value at the current MLB odds available at the top-rated sportsbooks.

Our second best bet for Friday is scheduled for 07:05 PM ET. This time our proprietary model sees value on the total in the Bronx, as the Rays visit the Yankees in this matchup.

For a thorough breakdown and preview of today’s MLB matchups, including Orioles vs. Royals and Diamondbacks vs. Giants, make sure to check out Bookmakers Review’s YouTube channel.

Don’t miss out on more daily picks from our experts:

Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees

Friday, April 19, 2024 – 07:05 PM ET at Yankee Stadium

We may be going a bit against the grain here in a game between two good offenses, but we are backing the Under when Tyler Alexander and the Rays visit Clarke Schmidt and the Yankees.

More Strikeouts, Softer Contact

Schmidt had some nice flashes for the Yankees since being converted to a starter in 2022, and he now appears to have come into his own at the age of 28. His current 3.68 ERA through three starts lines up nicely with his 3.81 xFIP, an indication that projects to an ERA somewhere in that area. But it is his peripherals that are catching our eyes.

Clarke has four pitches that he has thrown over 16% of the time, led by his cutter at 37.1%. The velocity of that cutter is up to 92.6 MPH from 91.5 last year. That arsenal and improved velocity have resulted in an excellent strikeout rate so far of 9.82/9. Not only that, but he has an obscene 12.8% hard-contact rate compared to a 23.1% soft-contact rate.

Granted that the soft/hard contact ratio is unsustainable, but even the projected normalized ratio looks promising.

Better Than the Stats

Now the key to this Under play is Alexander, who we feel projects closer to his good last outing than his lousy first two starts. Yes, he has a 6.46 ERA and 5.28 xFIP so far in three outings, but much of that is due to his second start being at Colorado, where he allowed four earned runs and 10 baserunners in 4.1 innings.

Tyler is not the first visiting pitcher to struggle in the altitude, and he was much better in his return to sea level last time out. He held the Giants to two runs in six innings that day, and remember he is coming off a season where he posted a career-best 4.14 xFIP while with the Tigers. We see his current xFIP regressing close to that figure eventually given his velocity is in line with last year and his swinging strike rate is slightly up.

MLB Best Bet

Besides, since we do not expect the Rays to score much against Schmidt, that gives Alexander some leeway to allow a few runs while still keeping this game Under. Thus, that is our wager in the Bronx.

Predicted Score: Yankees 5 – Rays 2

MLB Best Bet: Under 9 (-110) at Bookmaker

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Under 9 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.