New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays - 4/23/16 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Tampa Bay Rays (7-9) at New York Yankees (6-9)
MLB Baseball: Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 1:05 pm (Yankee Stadium)
B Snell (0-0) (0.00) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (1-0) (3.06)
The Line: New York Yankees -143 / Tampa Bay Rays +133 --- Over/Under: 7.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: MLBN, YES, SUN
Kicking off our weekend in MLB action, we’ve got a great afternoon matchup on tap between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees from Yankee Stadium.
This will be game two of the series. In Friday’s game one, New York turned a 3-2 deficit into a 6-3 victory to take the opener in a much-needed win.
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Taking the mound for the Rays in Saturday’s matchup will be hot prospect Blake Snell, who is making his major league debut here. Snell will be filling in for Erasmo Ramirez, who had to do some reliever work on Thursday. In his three starts at the Triple-A level this year, Snell has put up a nice 2.51 ERA with a 21/7 K/BB ratio.
Tampa Bay has some very talented hitters in their lineup, and we’ve already gotten a peek at what they can do. Evan Longoria leads the way on 18 hits, nine runs and nine RBI so far. Logan Forsythe has been hitting pretty well with 11 runs and 17 hits. Steven Souza has contributed 14 hits with eight RBI to the Rays’ cause in 2016.
For Saturday’s game, the Yankees will be giving the start to right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. On the season, Tanaka has a 3.06 ERA with a 1.02 WHIP across three starts and 17.2 innings of work. In his most recent appearance on Sunday, Tanaka logged seven innings of action, giving up three runs on six hits.
The New York batters haven’t been able to find their proverbial strokes recently, and it’s sent the team into an ugly losing trend. Carlos Beltran is playing fairly well, however, with 17 hits, nine runs and nine RBI. Starlin Castro has 15 hits with 10 RBI in a solid start as well. That said, Castro came up empty on Friday. Mark Teixeira hasn’t quite been able to get it going lately, with his 11 hits and .216 BA. Teixeira broke out on Friday, with a 3-for-4 outing.
The Rays are 1-4 in their last five game twos of a series, and 1-5 in their last six games against a team with a winning percentage below .400. As for the Yankees, they’re 2-6 in their last eight game twos of a series, but 9-3 in Tanaka’s last 12 starts against the American League East.
I like Tanaka in the pitching matchup here, but I worry if the Yankees will be able to give him enough help against this talented Tampa Bay order. Snell is the real wild card, because he’s got a lot of potential and could come out firing. I’m picking New York, but I’m not happy about it.