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Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees Betting Preview

A pair of rivals from the American League East square off in the first of a four-game series when the New York Yankees (21-17, 14-8 home) and the Tampa Bay Rays (29-9, 10-6 away) take the field on Thursday night. Tampa Bay took two of three from New York earlier this month in Florida.

The first pitch of the series opener is at 7:05 p.m. EST inside Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York.

Tampa Bay is the betting favorite (-125 moneyline), while the over/under total is 8.5 runs.

What to Know – Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay heads to the Big Apple coming off a rare two-game losing streak to close out the series against the Baltimore Orioles. The Rays still have the best record in baseball and a 4.5-game lead over the nearest competition in the AL East.

On the hill for Tampa Bay is right-hander Drew Rasmussen (3-2, 3.11 ERA, 1.19 WHIP). Rasmussen faced the Yankees in his last start, scattering a pair of hits and walks in 5.2 innings of shutout work. This season, the 27-year-old has logged 37.2 innings, allowing 13 earned runs on 34 hits, 11 walks, with 40 strikeouts.

Offensively, the Rays lead the majors with a .272 team batting average and score 6.1 runs per game. The pitching staff for Tampa Bay ranks also tops the league with a 2.95 team earned run average.

Randy Arozarena is one of a handful of standouts for the Rays offense. The outfielder has blasted nine home runs and driven in a team-high 30 runs through 36 games. Former top prospect Wander Franco is also emerging as a top offensive threat, adding seven home runs and 23 RBIs at 22 years of age.

What to Know – New York Yankees

The Yankees have turned up the heat over the last week in half, winning six of their last eight ball games.

New York remains in last place in a tough AL East, eight games back of the Rays.

Right-hander Domingo German (2-2, 4.35 ERA, 0.94 WHIP) looks to keep the Yankees on a winning trend. The 30-year-old veteran is looking for his first win of the month after pitching a pair of no-decisions in his first two May outings. German has 39.1 innings under his belt in 2023, surrendering 19 earned runs on 25 hits, 12 walks, and 44 strikeouts.

New York’s offense sits 23rd in the MLB featuring a .235 team batting average while scoring 4.4 runs per contest. The Yankees pitching staff is seventh amongst league teams featuring a 3.59 team ERA.

Runs have been tough to come by for the Yankees offense, who have played with Giancarlo Stanton since mid-April, and Aaron Judge missed time at the end of April and beginning of May. Anthony Rizzo is batting .302 with six home runs and 17 RBIs, while DJ LeMahieu is the team leader with 18 RBIs.

The Pick is In

Tampa Bay gets a reset in the Big Apple after back-to-back losses in Baltimore. Look for the Rays to manufacture runs in a low-scoring opener while the Yankees continue to struggle offensively.

The Pick: Tampa Bay Rays ML

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