Easter Sunday is always followed by Nor’Easter Monday which is why yesterday’s Rays / Yankees contest was snowed out. They’ll attempt to get to New York’s home opener on Monday for the April 3rd AL free pick. The Yankees are significant -155 favorites with lefty Jordan Montgomery on the mound, but can Tampa Bay ruin the day as they send their ace Chris Archer to the hill?
Good Money on Rays with Archer?
Tampa Bay as a team doesn’t instill a whole lot of confidence as they have started off the year 1-3 with all of those games being at home. With Chris Archer on the hill however anything can happen. Archer started opening day against Boston and didn’t seem to be his usual sharp self. The Red Sox scraped out 4 runs on 6 hits including an Eduardo Nunez HR. Archer made 4 starts against the Yankees last season, giving up 3ER in 3 of them and 2 in the other. Giancarlo Stanton is 0-6 against the righty and Aaron Judge just 1-9 but overall the Yankees are hitting .284 against Archer.
The big issue for Tampa Bay in the April 3rd AL free pick is scoring. They have put up just 3 runs in the past 3 games – albeit against a good Boston rotation. Tampa Bay is in the bottom 3 in the MLB in runs per game, batting average, and OPS through the first weekend of the year. Matt Duffy has had a solid start with a .375 average to start the year and maybe the rest of the team will follow suit now that Chris Sale, David Price, and Co. are in the rear view mirror for now.
Montgomery Takes the Mound For the First Time in 2018
The Yankees counter Archer with left hander Jordan Montgomery. He was 9-7 with a 3.88 ERA last year – his first full season in the bigs. Montgomery had mixed results against the Rays in three starts last year. On July 30th, for example he was rocked to the tune of 4 runs on just 6 hits in 2.2 IP. In his penultimate start of 2017 though Montgomery limited Tampa Bay to 1 run over 6.0 IP. He did strike out 5+ Rays hitters in each of the three games and the current incarnation of the Tampa Bay lineup is hitting just .200 against Montgomery.
With Judge and Stanton having past troubles against Archer, the offense will have to come somewhere else in the April 3rd AL free pick. Jacoby Ellsbury would be a great bet (.512, 2HR vs Archer) if he weren’t sidelined with an injury. Gary Sanchez has had some success against Archer (.267, 2HR) but he’s started the year batting .073. Brandon Drury and Didi Gregorious should at least account for something and perhaps the whole Yankees offense improves back at their own stomping grounds.
April 3rd AL Free Pick Betting
Tampa Bay has hit just.128 against left-handers this year. Of course that also included two great outings by Sale and Price. They’re still on the road however with a messed up schedule from yesterday’s snow outing. The Rays are going to be tough with Archer on the bump, but New York’s offense last year was record-setting at Yankee Stadium. They’ll get it going again today…weather permitting.
Free Pick: New York Yankees -155