Money Line: Tampa Bay +115 New York -125
Total Line: 7.5
The Tampa Bay Rays will look to put some distance between themselves and the New York Yankees in the AL East when the two rivals square-off this Tuesday night in the first of a three-game series. Game time at Yankee Stadium is set for 7:05 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast on the MLB Network.
Tampa Bay lost two of three games to Oakland this past weekend to fall a half game behind Baltimore in the division with an overall record of 19-10. The Rays are still 7-3 in their last 10 games and the total has gone ‘over’ in three of their last five. They are 13-3 at home this year but just 6-7 on the road.
The Rays are hitting .248 as a team and ranked fifth in the AL in scoring with 133 runs. They will go with James Shields as their starter for Tuesday night. He raised his record to a perfect 5-0 with a four-hit, one run performance in six full innings against Seattle. The right-hander is 5-11 against the Yankees with a 4.39 ERA.
New York pounded-out a 10-4 victory over Kansas City on Sunday as a 121 road favorite to raise its record to 15-13 overall, which is four games in back of the Orioles. The Yankees are an even 5-5 in their last 10 games with the total staying ‘under’ in seven of their last eight. They are 7-6 at home and 8-7 on the road.
Hitting has not been an issue for the Bronx Bombers with a team batting average of .272, which is ranked second in the AL. They are ranked third in scoring with an average of 5.04 runs per game. New York will send Ivan Nova to the mound in this one. The right-hander is 3-1 this season but sporting a 5.58 ERA through five previous outings. His 14-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of Baltimore after giving-up five earned runs in 6.1 innings. He is 2-0 with an ERA of 3.47 against Tampa Bay.
The Rays are 6-0 in Shields last six starts and 5-2 in his last seven starts against the AL East. The total has gone ‘over’ in seven of their last 11 games on the road.
The Yankees are 10-3 in Nova’s last 13 starts at home and 19-7 in his last 26 starts overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in six of his last seven starts in the division.
Head-to-head, Tampa Bay has won the last seven meetings including the first three games this season, but is 0-4 in Shields last four starts in New York. The total has stayed ‘under’ in five of the last seven meetings at Yankee Stadium.
Shields come into this matchup in solid form, but his past trends against New York spell trouble for the Rays in the opener. Stick with Nova and the Yankees on Tuesday night as they draw first blood this time around. New York 5 Tampa Bay 3
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.