The 2022 MLB season continues Saturday, May 28, and brings plenty of interesting picks and markets with 16 games around the leagues, including a twin bill in Cincinnati. We are taking a closer look at the AL East showdown from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, so here’s the best Yankees vs. Rays betting pick.
New York and Tampa meet for the third contest of a four-game series at The Trop, and the second clash has been excluded from the analysis. The Yankees won the opener 7-2 as -120 moneyline favorites on BetMGM Sportsbook, and are listed at -135 to win Saturday’s battle.
The Yanks extended their win streak, Cortes pitched another gem
The New York Yankees improved to 32-13 following that comfortable 7-2 victory over the Rays. Nestor Cortes whiffed five across eight frames of a one-run ball, while the Yanks’ lineup put three runs on the scoreboard in the top of the ninth to secure the victory.
It was the Yankees’ third win in a row, while Cortes lowered his ERA to 1.70 and his FIP to 2.55. New York sports the third-lowest ERA in the majors (2.98), and its bullpen holds a respectable 3.13 ERA and 3.11 BABIP.
Gerrit Cole will toe the slab Saturday, looking to bounce back from a loss to the Baltimore Orioles. Last Monday, Cole pitched eight frames and had 11 strikeouts, but he also yielded five earned runs on seven hits. The 31-year-old righty is now sporting a 4-1 record, 3.31 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 62/12 K/BB ratio across 51.2 frames of work in 2022 (nine starts).
The Rays struggle with injuries
The Tampa Bay Rays dropped to 18-26 following the opening clash of their 19-game regular-season against the Yankees. Ryan Yarbrough allowed a couple of earned runs through 5.1 innings of work, and Ralph Garza Jr. yielded two more in relief.
The Rays have seven relievers on the IL, including the likes of Andrew Kittredge, Chris Mazza, JT Chargois, and Pete Fairbanks. Tampa Bay’s injury-depleted bullpen has recorded an impressive 2.84 ERA over the last seven days, but the Rays need more from their starting rotation.
Corey Kluber will toe the rubber Saturday, and he’s 1-2 with a 4.42 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in eight starts (38.2 innings) in 2022. The 36-year-old righty has struggled a lot over his previous three starts, allowing 12 earned runs through 12 innings of work.
- 8-4 in the last 12 games overall
- 6-1 in Gerrit Cole’s last seven starts
- 2-6 in the last eight home games against the Yankees
- 2-5 in Corey Kluber’s last seven starts
New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays Pick
Corey Kluber spent the 2021 season with the Pinstripes, and the current Yankees have 26 hits and a .996 OPS in 92 at-bats against the veteran righty. They know each other very well, while the current Rays have 36 hits and a .785 OPS in 132 at-bats against Gerrit Cole.
The Yankees’ bullpen has struggled a bit over the last seven days, posting a 6.63 ERA and 3.72 FIP. Gerrit Cole will be a key factor in Saturday’s battle, especially if New York’s lineup jumps on Kluber and score a few runs early.
Pick: Take New York Yankees at -135
Neither team has impressed at the plate over the last couple of weeks, but they combined for nine runs in Thursday’s opener. Both Yankees and Rays have plenty of dangerous weapons, though New York misses Giancarlo Stanton (ankle) and Josh Donaldson (illness).
It’s tough to go with the under at a seven-run line. The Yankees have averaged four runs per game over their last seven outings despite a poor .626 OPS, while the Rays have scored 23 runs and recorded a .733 OPS in their last five games overall. Pick: Go over 7.0 runs at -120