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Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 8/16/14

New York Yankees (61-59) at Tampa Bay Rays (61-61)

MLB Baseball: Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 4:10 pm (Tropicana Field)

Shane Greene (R) (3-1) (2.919) vs. Drew Smyly (L) (6-10) (3.961)

The Line: Tampa Bay Rays -135 / New York Yankees +125 --- Over/Under: 7.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: FS1, YES, SUN

The Tampa Bay Rays host the New York Yankees in game two of a three game weekend series between American League Wild Card contenders.

The New York Yankees are sliding at the wrong time as they enter Saturday’s game as losers of five straight games.  In Friday night’s 5-0 loss, pitcher Brandon McCarthy allowed four runs (two earned) over 6.1 innings but the Yankees failed to plate any runners on seven singles.  The Yankees are now just 3-9 against the Rays this season after the loss.   With the Wild Card race being as competitive as it is New York can ill afford to be punchless at this stage of the season.     

Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 8/16/14

USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees will turn to rookie right-hander Shane Greene in hopes of ending their losing skid.  Greene may be the perfect candidate for a stopper role as he enters this matchup off an eight inning shutout in his most recent home start against the Tigers, allowing just five hits.  Greene has made just seven appearances this year with a WHIP of 1.21, ERA of 2.89 and record of 3-1.  Greene has been better on the road and also during day games, but the sample size is just four games for each instance; the Rays have not faced Greene this season. 

The Tampa Bay Rays reached the .500 mark with yesterday’s win as Alex Cobb was dominant over seven shutout innings allowing just five hits and striking out seven batters.  The Rays had just one extra base hit on a James Loney homer in the 8th, but Evan Longoria and James Loney each delivered RBI’s in the first inning and rookie catcher Curt Casali and Ben Zobrist added RBI’s in the 7th as the Rays were effective using mostly small ball scoring five runs on eight hits.   The late season run has become the Rays’ signature move as they have made the playoffs in four of the last six seasons.  Pulling off that feat won’t be easy with just nine games against sub-.500 teams remaining on the Rays schedule, but no one would be too surprised given their ability to match up within the AL East division. 

Drew Smyly will make his home field debut for the Rays on Saturday afternoon after making two road starts since joining the team from Detroit.  Smyly was highly effective in his latest start at Texas, allowing just three hits over 7.2 shutout innings and striking out nine batters to pick up the win.  For the season (Rays + Tigers) Smyly has a WHIP of 1.33, ERA of 3.73 and record of 7-10.  The 25 year old lefty has struggled in day games with a 5.05 ERA and has yet to face the Yankees this season.  

The Rays have the Yankees number this year but I am making a contrarian play here and taking the plus odds in hopes that the Yankees will snap their losing streak.

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New York Yankees +125 (1 unit)

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