The reeling Rays will look to halt their slide down the American League East standings tonight when they welcome the hated Yankees to Tropicana Field. This evening’s series opener is scheduled to get underway at 7:00pm ET on ESPN. The latest MLB Odds have Tampa Bay listed as a -133 moneyline favorite while New York is getting +123 odds in a road dog role. The game total in tonight’s contest is set at 8.5; the Over is favored at -115 odds.
New York increased its AL East lead to six games yesterday, knocking off Chicago 4-2 to earn a split in its four game home set with the White Sox. The win represented the Yankees seventh in their last nine games and it improved the team’s record to 48-30 on the season.
New York, which is 23-14 on the road this season, will take aim at a third straight win with 13 year veteran Freddy Garcia toeing the rubber this evening. Garcia has worked primarily out of the bullpen this season, and he has had success doing so, but he has also made four starts. The results in those outings were less than commendable with Garcia yielding 19 earned runs and 25 hits over 13 2/3 innings (12.51 ERA).
Garcia has not started since April 28th when he allowed five hits and six earned runs over 1.2 innings in a 7-5 loss to the Tigers at Yankee Stadium.
Tampa Bay, a loser in six of its last seven, fell to 41-38 last night with a 5-3 home loss to the Tigers. The Rays, a one time division leader, now trail the first place Yankees by 7.5 games.
The Rays will look to change course tonight by handing the ball to rookie southpaw Matt Moore. Moore, who is 4-5 in 15 starts this season, has spun some gems this season, but, as his 4.19 ERA and 1.40 WHIP would indicate, he has also turned in his share of ugly performances. The Fort Walton Beach native suffered through just such an outing last week, giving up 10 hits and four earned runs in a 4-5 loss to the Royals in Kansas City. Moore, who owns a 1-0 record in one career appearance against the Yankees, is 3-3 with a 3.78 ERA in nine starts at Tropicana Field this season.
MLB Odds Betting Trend: The Rays are 9-1 in their last 10 games as a home favorite versus a right handed pitcher with a game total between 8.5 and 9 runs.
MLB Picks 2012 New York Yankees vs Tampa Bay Ray: Provided by TopBet.com
New York Yankees +1.5 (-170), Over 8.5 (-115), +123 (Moneyline)
Tampa Bay Rays -1.5 (+150), Under 8.5 (-105), -133 (Moneyline)