The MLB betting action continues Thursday, May 26, with 11 games around the leagues, so we’re taking a closer look at the AL East battle from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, to get you the best Yankees vs. Rays betting pick along with the latest odds update on FanDuel Sportsbook.
New York meets Tampa Bay for the first time in 2022. Last year, the Rays won 11 of their 19 encounters with the Yanks, while the under went 10-9.
The Yankees hope Nestor Cortes continues to shine
Wednesday night’s games have been excluded from the analysis, and the 30-13 New York Yankees were looking to clinch a three-game home set against Baltimore. After a 6-4 defeat last Monday, the Yanks outlasted the Orioles 7-6 in 11 innings on Tuesday night to stop their three-game slide.
New York will give Nestor Cortes a nod in the opening clash of the Rays series, hoping to get another strong performance from its lefty. Cortes is 3-1 in eight starts and 45 innings of work and carries a shiny 1.80 ERA, 2.59 FIP, 0.89 WHIP, and 56/11 K/BB ratio.
The Yankees are undefeated in five of Cortes’ previous six starts. The 27-year-old southpaw has dominated the Chicago White Sox over his previous two appearances, allowing only four earned runs on nine hits across 13 innings of work.
The Rays have been a hit-or-miss lately
The 25-17 Tampa Bay Rays hosted Miami on Wednesday, looking to sweep a two-game interleague series. They blanked the Marlins 4-0 as -160 moneyline favorites last Tuesday. It was the Rays’ seventh victory in their last 14 games overall.
Wander Franco sat out a couple of games over the weekend due to a quadriceps injury. The 21-year-old budding star returned to the lineup against Miami and went 0-for-4, extending his slump to 2-for-39 over his last 11 appearances.
The Rays haven’t announced who’ll get the starting call Thursday against the Yankees. Anyway, Ryan Yarbrough will take over in the second inning, and the 30-year-old lefty owns a 4.20 ERA, 4.19 FIP, 1.67 WHIP, and 12/7 K/BB ratio in three starts and one relief appearance (15 innings) in 2022. Yarbrough hasn’t factored into the decision so far this season.
- 6-2 in the last eight games on the road
- 5-1 in Nestor Cortes’ last six starts
- 2-6 in Ryan Yarbrough’s last eight appearances
New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays Pick
The Yankees will prevail over the Rays should Nestor Cortes continue with his strong performance. The Rays don’t care if they hit the lefties or righties, but they own a poor .575 OPS in 42 plate appearances versus Cortes.
On the other side, it’s hard to trust Ryan Yarbrough, who’s allowed a .732 OPS through 91 plate appearances to the current Yankees. New York is slashing .239/.311/.760 against the left-handed pitchers in 2022.
Pick: Take New York Yankees
The Yankees’ bullpen ranks second in the majors in WAR (2.4), but over the last seven days, it has recorded three losses to go with a terrible 7.91 ERA and 4.78 FIP. On the other side, the Rays’ bullpen has registered a couple of losses, 2.57 ERA, and 3.87 FIP in that stretch.
A lot will depend on Ryan Yarbrough and the Yankees’ offense. The Rays still have plenty of strong arms in their ‘pen and can mix and match, so I lean toward the under. Tropicana Field is a pitcher-friendly ballpark, and Nestor Cortes is looking for another dominant display.
Pick: Go over