The reigning, defending American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays open up their home schedule against division rival, New York Yankees on Friday afternoon in St. Petersburg.
New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Friday, April 09, 2021 – 03:10 PM EDT at Tropicana Field
Can The Rays Stop The Bleeding?
The Tampa Bay Rays are ice cold at the moment in this young season. They have lost four in a row to the Red Sox and Marlins. What is most concerning is that in those four losses they have surrendered… wait for it… thirty eight runs. That is a staggering failure of pitching for a team that usually prides itself on being able to cobble together games by any means necessary. Now they have to open their 2021 home schedule against the potent lineup of the New York Yankees.
The Rays will send veteran lefty Rich Hill to the mound in this one on Friday afternoon. Now, I will grant you that Rich Hill is not the kind of pitcher that has shut down stuff, nor does he throw particularly hard, especially at this point in his career. However, sometimes guys with that slow, accurate stuff can be off putting for a power lineup like the Yankees. Hill may be just the kind of wily veteran to pull the Rays out of their slump.
Can The Yankees Capitalize on Tampa’s Slow Start?
While the Rays are off to a painfully slow start, the Yankees haven’t exactly set the world on fire either. The Yankees are 3-3 on the year and coming off a loss to the Orioles. Their bats have done the job more often than not, but they are still susceptible to a bad day on the mound. Today they will send former American League Cy Young winner, Corey Kiuber to the mound. Kiuber looked good in his debut in pinstripes, but it is still a fair question to wonder how much he has left in the tank. He’s been through quite a bit over the last few years.
The Yankees bats will have to deal with Rich Hill who on paper doesn’t seem like the toughest matchups, but sometimes dealing with a veteran who knows his way around a lineup and is crafty and accurate, can be a problem. Additionally the Rays manager Kevin Cash, won’t let Hill get in a heap of trouble. He deploys his bullpen as well as any manager in the big leagues.
The Rays are as cold as ice right now and that provides some value. Additionally the names on the pitching matchup provide value as well. Many bettors will see Kluber vs. Hill and immediately side with Corey Kluber. The dude has been through a lot lately and may not necessarily be the guy he was a few years ago. Rich Hill is someone who is more than capable and could throw this Yankees lineup a bit off kilter.
The Rays are too good of a team to stay down for long. They get to finally return home and play in front of their fans for the first time in a long time. They’re hanging an American League Championship banner. They have a guy on the mound who I think could be a problem for the Yankees and are facing a pitcher that could be susceptible to their own potent lineup. I think the situation Tampa Bay has been in provides value here today.
MLB Pick: Rays ML (+120) at BetMGM