The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays will meet for the first time in the postseason when the two squads square off Monday night in Game 1 of the American League Division Series. The best-of-five series will be played at a neutral location and stay in the same hotel. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. EST on TBS at Petco Park in San Diego.
New York is -148 on the moneyline in Game 1, while the Rays are +138.
What to Know – New York Yankees
New York took care of business in the opening series against the Cleveland Indians. Now healthy, the offense looked like what the Yankees expected with this lineup, scoring 22 runs over the two-game set. The Yankees finished the regular season seven games behind the Rays in the AL East.
Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole will take the mound for New York in the opener. Cole pitched brilliantly in his postseason start against the Indians last week, firing seven innings, allowing two earned runs, and recording 13 strikeouts. The right-hander wrapped up the regular season with a 7-3 record, 2.84 ERA, and 0.96 WHIP.
The Yankees hit seven home runs against the Indians, led by slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who hit two. Gleyber Torres went 5-for-7 (.714 BA) in his plate appearances with a home run and three runs scored.
What to Know – Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays garnered the top seed in the AL playoffs after recording the best record in the regular season finishing 40-20. Tampa quickly took care of the Blue Jays in AL Wild Card, out-scoring them 11-3 over the two contests. The Rays went 8-2 against the Yankees during the regular season. The series win against the Blue Jays was the first for the Rays in 12 years.
Blake Snell counters Cole on the mound for the Rays. Like Cole, Snell pitched admirably in his first postseason start against the Toronto Blue Jays. The lefty fired 5.2 innings, allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out nine. Snell concluded his 2020 season with a 4-2 record, 3.24 ERA, and 1.20 WHIP.
Randy Arozarena batted .500 (4-for-8) in the wild-card series, scoring three runs. Hunter Renfroe had just one hit, but that hit was a grand slam in Game 2 to power the Rays to victory. Manuel Margot also collected three hits and three RBI for the Rays in the series.
The Pick is In
Tampa Bay had the Yankees number throughout the regular season. Cole went 0-1 in his two starts against the Rays, surrendering four home runs over 11.2 innings pitched. Snell tossed eight total innings in two starts against the Yankees and allowed three earned runs over those frames. However, one of those starts came when the Yankees were without sluggers Aaron Judge and Stanton.
This game will be close, but the New York offense will outperform the Rays lineup and give the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the ADLS. Side with the Yankees in this one.