The Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees meet Thursday in MLB action from Yankee Stadium. This will be the opener of a four-game weekend set. The Rays are fresh off a series versus the Orioles. Tampa Bay split the first two installments, then on Wednesday in the rubber match the Rays took a close loss. As for New York, they played the A’s this week. After wins in the first pair, on Wednesday the Yankees notched a blowout victory. Check back all season long for free MLB picks at Sports Chat Place.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays managed a 3-0 win over the Orioles on Monday, but then fell 4-2 in the Tuesday game two. In the finale Tampa Bay had six team hits in a 2-1 loss. Yonny Chirinos did most of the pitching work with 5.0 innings, two earned, five hits and four walks.
As starter for the Thursday opener, the Rays will send out Drew Rasmussen. Over seven starts this year Rasmussen is 3-2 with a 3.11 ERA and 40 Ks in 37.2 innings. Rasmussen is 19-10 with a 3.04 career ERA in 82 games (45 starts).
New York Yankees
Over on the Yankees’ side, they beat the A’s 7-2 in their Monday game, then took a 10-5 win on Tuesday. In the Wednesday finale New York scored seven runs in the fifth inning on the way to an 11-3 victory. Starting pitcher Jhony Brito put up 4.1 innings with two earned, five hits and two walks.
In the starting pitcher slot Thursday the Yankees will send out Domingo German. This year German is 2-2 with a 4.35 ERA and 44 strikeouts. He’s coming off 5.0 innings against the Rays on May 6 with two earned on four hits and two walks.
The Rays are 29-8 in their last 37 overall and 20-8 in their last 28 in game one of a series. Tampa Bay is 35-17 in their last 52 Thursday games.
Meanwhile, the Yankees are 70-32 in their last 102 at home and 2-8 in their last 10 in game one of a series. The under is 5-2 in New York’s last seven in game one of a series.
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I’ll stay with Tampa Bay. These teams saw each other last weekend at Tropicana Field, with the Rays taking two of the three games. Interestingly enough, all three were decided by just one run (5-4 Rays, 3-2 Yankees and 8-7 Rays). This should be an equally competitive series, and a fun one to keep track of. On Wednesday the Rays got a nice pitching effort overall but they couldn’t get much going on offense. I like Tampa Bay’s hitters to bounce back in this one and give Rasmussen some leeway.