Date/Time: September 26th, 7:05 PM ET
Television: MLB Network
Probable Starters: Cobb (Tampa Bay) vs. Nova (New York)
Moneyline: Rays -113
The season is over for the New York Yankees, who are going to be playing one last battle on the MLB betting lines this year at Yankee Stadium against the playoff hungry Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night.
The Rays are doing everything that they need to do to get into the playoffs. They have won six games in a row, and they are now one of the three teams that are fighting for two spots. The magic number is either three between their wins or Texas Rangers losses or four between their wins and Cleveland Indians losses to get into the postseason. Winning out removes all doubt that the Wild Card game next week will be played at Tropicana Field, and that’s what Manager Joe Maddon and company are shooting for. RHP Alex Cobb, who very well could pitch in that game next week, will get the ball in this one, and he has been a monster on the bump of late. The righty has lasted at least eight innings in back to back starts against the Rangers and the Baltimore Orioles in massive games, and he has gotten the ‘W’ in both efforts. Remember that this was a man that took a line drive off of his head in June, and it’s amazing that he is able to pitch, let alone able to pitch at this standard.
The Yankees put up a big time effort this year, but they were never good enough to get into the playoffs. They’ll finish with a winning record, and they are going to hope to go out with a win to let RHP Mariano Rivera get a save in his last outing at Yankee Stadium. There is no doubt that Mo is pitching the ninth regardless of what the situation is, and the hopes for the hometown heroes is that it will be to close out the 83rd win of the 2013 season for the Bronx Bombers. New York does have its best pitcher on the mound for his final start of the year, as RHP Ivan Nova will get the ball from Manager Joe Girardi. Nova was excellent in the second half of the season, posting a sub-2.00 ERA since the All-Star break. Unfortunately for him, his teammates haven’t picked him up quite enough times, and the 9-5 record isn’t totally indicative of what he has really done for the club.
The Yankees and finished, and the Rays would love to stamp New York’s season with a series sweep in front of the hometown faithful, but we have to have some sentiment here. New York absolutely has to end Rivera’s career in a winning situation, and we think that that is exactly what is going to happen. You can bet that the 9th inning on Thursday night is something that all baseball fans should be desperate to see.
Tampa Bay Rays @ New York Yankees Pick: New York Yankees +108
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.