Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees Predictions, Odds & Picks (August 20)
- Rays aim for a sweep in the Bronx
- Can Yankees offense come back to life?
- James Paxton hopes to regain his form
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Rays vs Yankees Odds
|Team||Run Spread||Total||Money Line|
|Tampa Bay Rays||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|New York Yankees||TBA||TBA||TBA|
Rays vs Yankees Predictions and Picks
Neither team is hitting the cover off the ball, but the ball jumps differently in day games at Yankee stadium. Add that John Curtiss is making the first start of his career and James Paxton has struggled this year too, even though the Yankees have a depleted lineup, we like the over.
Betting record through 8/19/20 (16-14-1)
Over for Tampa is 6-1-1 in its last eight games following a win
Over is 4-1 in Yankees last five games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
Under is 14-4-1 in last 19 head-to-head meetings in New York
Under is 7-2 in last nine meetings
How to watch Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees
|Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees Information|
|What||Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees|
|Where||Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY|
|When||Thursday, August 20, 2020, 1:05 PM EST|
|How to Watch||MLB TV|
Red Hot Rays Show They’re for Real
The Yankees are 16-8 on the season. They’re 15-3 against teams not based in Tampa. That makes them 1-5 against the Rays. Prior to dropping the first two of this series, the Yankees were a perfect 10-0 at home on the season.
Point being, Tampa has owned this matchup this year, punctuated by yesterday’s 4-2 victory, when Tyler Glasnow went pitch-for-pitch with Gerrit Cole before the Rays got two runs against the Yankees bullpen in the eighth to win it.
Glasnow went 5.2 innings, giving up two hits and three walks for a total of two earned runs while striking out eight.
The Rays, 16-9 in their own right, aim to complete the sweep in New York and take over first place in the AL East in the process.
They’ve been able to consistently win games in this rivalry thanks to their pitching, holding the Bronx Bombers to three runs or fewer in each of their five victories in the series this year.
The Rays are on a tear, going 10-1 in their past 11 games all against division rivals. They’ve been streaky all year, though, opening the season 4-0 before suffering a 1-6 stretch.
Yankees Offense Needs a Restart
The Yankees were able to beat up on the Red Sox with ease last weekend, scoring 21 runs in the first two games and 31 total in the four-game sweep. However, in their last four contests (including the last two against the Red Sox) the Yankees have been held to four runs or fewer on three occasions. It’s not exactly a coincidence this coincides with Aaron Judge’s time on the IL, although the slugger is expected to be activated on Saturday.
In case that wasn’t enough, DJ LeMahieu, the former NL batting champion who currently leads the AL with a .411 average, sprained his thumb earlier this week and is expected to be out between two and three weeks.
Any offense would sputter when losing those two, but the Yankees have shown they need to out-slug people in contests that aren’t started by Cole or Masahiro Tanaka.
Fortunately for New York, Luke Voit has been on fire, hitting four home runs, driving in six, and reaching base seven times in the past three games.
Are James Paxton’s Days as a Yankee Numbered?
It’s not as if James Paxton can’t win as a Yankee. There were questions about whether he could after he started 5-6 in his Yankees career through July of last season, but he finished the season on a tear.
The Yankees won each of his final 10 starts and the southpaw picked up the victory in each one, giving up three or more runs in just two of the 10 games.
However, so far in 2020, he’s just 1-1 and has given up three earned runs in each of his four starts while going more than five innings just one time.
The good news for the Yankees and Paxton, however, is his best start did come against the Rays. That was back on August 9 when Paxton threw 6.1 innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits and one walk but struck out a season-high 11 batters. In his other three starts combined, Paxton has just seven punch outs.
His 7.04 ERA and 1.63 WHIP would be by far the worst numbers of his career, should they not improve.
Much of the issue has been a lack of velocity in his fastball, which currently sits around 92, as opposed to the 94-96 during his prime years. This past week Paxton was working with pitching coach Matt Blake on trying to be more upright when he throws to get that extra giddy-up.
He also underwent back surgery in late-February and has been working his way back from that. Paxton is in a contract season so it will behoove him, and the Yankees, to figure this out quickly and before their expected playoff push.
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.