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While both of these teams will have their aces on the mound tonight, we have concerns about the recent play of Shane McClanahan. He has just one quality start over his last five appearances, and he was shelled by the Yankees earlier this season. Tampa has the better team but Cole, combined with a Yankee team desperate for wins, will lead to an easy moneyline cover tonight.
After leading the AL East for most of the season, a brutal start to the second half now has them in second place. Since the All-Star break, the Rays were swept by the Rangers and dropped three of four games to the Orioles. There is no doubt they will bounce back, but that won’t happen against Gerrit Cole tonight.
The Rays succeeded against Cole in May, but a lot has changed since then. The most noticeable is the production from this Rays offense. They led the league in batting average, home runs, and home runs for much of the season, but those numbers have been falling. The lineup is still good, but they are not the same monster Cole struggled to slay in May.
Tampa will have their young ace on the mound tonight, Shane McClanahan (11-1, 3.00 ERA). Like the Rays, McClanahan was one of the Cy Young favorites for much of the year, but that started to change in June. The 26-year-old has just one quality start over his last five games, lasting fewer than six innings in the other four. Those numbers are troubling, but we are locking in this bet because of how he fared against the Yankees in May. McClanahan gave up four runs over four innings at Yankee Stadium, resulting in a 9-8 win for the Yanks. That came while the Rays starter was at his best, so we don’t see him turning things around as his slump continues.
As bad as Tampa has been, the Yankees haven’t been much better. They lost five of their first six games after the All-Star break, but a series with the Royals helped them turn things around. We’ll discuss more why we think the Yankees will get the win, but one of the most significant driving factors is the Yankees' dwindling playoff hopes. The team is now in the AL East cellar, despite being over .500. Missing the playoffs in New York is not a fun experience (as the Mets know), so the Yankees will need to win now to get back into playoff contention. That charge is going to start today with their ace on the mound.
Gerrit Cole (9-2, 2.64 ERA) will be on the bump for New York tonight, which is why we love this bet. The ace hasn’t lost a step at 32 years old as he chases his first Cy Young award. The righty has not allowed more than three runs since May 28 and has five straight quality starts. Tampa roughed up Cole earlier in the year, but this offense has cooled since then. We see a classic Cole performance tonight, leading to a badly-needed Yankee win.
The Yankees got some good news last week when Aaron Judge returned from injury. The offense has struggled without the slugger, and his return will help spark this Yankee team. Judge has two home runs against the Rays ace, and we think he adds to that total tonight.
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Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.More info on Michael Savio
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