Yankees vs. Rays Free MLB Picks and Preview

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Shane McClanahan #18 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers a pitch to the Minnesota Twins. Julio Aguilar/Getty Images/AFP

The Tampa Bay Rays are coming off a series loss to the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend. Can the Rays rebound at home against the mighty New York Yankees? Let’s see what the MLB odds tell us at the best sportsbooks!

New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Monday, June 20, 2022 – 07:10 PM EDT at Tropicana Field

The New York Yankees finally choked away a lead. The Toronto Blue Jays escaped the weekend series against the Yankees with a 10-9 win. 

Meanwhile, the Rays will now welcome the Yankees with a 36-30 record after losing a weekend series to the Baltimore Orioles. 

Can the Rays earn the first win of a new series against the Yankees or will the Yankees get back on track with a new win streak to start the week?

Here are our best bets and predictions for Monday’s game between the Yankees and Rays.

The Pitching Matchup

The Tampa Bay Rays will send out left-handed ace, Shane McClanahan for tonight’s game. McClanahan has a 7-3 record with a 1.84 ERA on the season and has easily been the best pitcher for the Rays this season.

In the last 30 days, McClanahan has a 2.98 xFIP with 33.1% of strikeouts and 4.1% of walks allowed. He won’t get a ton of grounders and allows a lot of line-drive contact, but players have to hit the ball in play first, which has been extremely hard to do against McClanahan. 

On the other hand, Gerrit Cole will get the start for the Yankees. He’s 6-1 with a 3.33 ERA. Cole has been inconsistent this season but overall, has done more good than bad. 

In the last 30 days, he has had a 3.28 xFIP with 33.9% of strikeouts and 5.1% of walks. Cole, unlike McClanahan, has kept ground balls high and line drives low, but has struggled a bit against righties when it comes to power. 

Who Has the More Favorable Lineup?

The Yankees have been much better against righties than lefties in the last 30 days. Against lefties, New York has a .158 ISO and wOBA of .314 in the last 30 days with the projected lineup. Only Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Trevino have had high wOBA against lefties in the last 30 days. There’s reason to believe that the Yankees will struggle offensively tonight

Meanwhile, the Rays haven’t impressed against righties in the last 30 days. Tampa Bay’s projected lineup has a .143 ISO and wOBA of .281 in the last 30 days. Ji-Man Choi and Randy Arozarena have had elevated numbers analytically against righties but outside that, the Rays have been very below average.

Arozarena has potential going up against Cole, who has allowed a lot of power to righties. But other than that, the Rays are going to struggle just as much to score runs. 

Game Prediction

We’re going to see high-level pitching between two of the best pitchers in the American League. Cole hasn’t been as consistent as McClanahan, but analytically, Cole is still putting up inside numbers.

Righties have a .341 wOBA and ISO of .231 against Cole in the last 30 days but ultimately, he’s held lefties in check with a .200 wOBA and ISO of .128. He’s earning a high amount of strikeouts on both sides and has really blown by lefties lately. 

McClanahan is going to allow more hard, line-drive contact than Cole, but it’s just as hard to hit him as it is to hit Cole. Both pitchers are getting over 33% of strikeouts in the last 30 days.

That’s essentially one strikeout per three outs. So if each pitcher goes seven innings, for example, both pitchers would likely earn seven strikeouts, on average. 

The Pick

Neither lineup looks very appealing against these two aces. There’s power in the Yankees order and four players hitting a high amount of line drives against lefties. But overall, McClanahan should be able to escape any damage in this game, like he’s done all year. 

Meanwhile, the Rays only have two threats in their lineup against Cole.

I’ll take the under 6.5 for my MLB pick of the day. It’s a low number but you rarely get two pitchers at this caliber facing off against one another in the first game of a series, coming off a Sunday. 

MLB Pick: Under 6.5 (-110) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Under 6.5 (-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.