The Tampa Bay Rays (61-61) are playing great baseball…and will look for their sixth straight win over the New York Yankees (61-59) on Saturday afternoon in St. Petersburg. Tampa Bay’s starting pitchers have not allowed more than two runs over a 7-2 stretch, which is easily the best in the Majors. The Rays will send their most recent acquisition, LHP Drew Smyly (7-10, 3.73 ERA), to build on their recent string of strong starts. Smyly was Tampa’s main return in a three-team trade that sent ace LHP David Price to the Detroit Tigers. Smyly is coming off a dominant seven inning, nine-strikeout performance on Monday against the Texas Rangers. Smyly only has one career start against the Yankees that happened during 2012. Smyly only allowed one run in six innings in a 7-5 win.
The Yankees will counter Smyly with RHP Shane Greene (3-1, 2.89). Greene hasn’t pitched since August 7th when he tossed eight innings a 1-0 victory over the Tigers. It’ll be interesting to see if Girardi opts to use Greene’s main battery mate, Francisco Cervelli, or opt for Brian McCann, who is coming off the disabled list.
The Yankees have lost five straight games and a loss on Saturday will give the Yankees their first six-game losing streak. The Yankees have only scored five runs during the losing streak. Jacoby Ellsburgh and Carlos Beltran have just one hit in their last 30 at-bats.
Current MLB odds slate Tampa Bay as a comfortable -140 home favorite. Baseball is a game all about streaks and trends. The Rays always play well against the Yankees in the Trop. Roll with Tampa Bay for your MLB Picks!
Today’s Pick: Tampa Bay -ML