Before the Yankees and Rays close out a three-game set tonight in Tampa, Kenny Ducey of the Action Network is here to share his best bet (video above).
Even though the Rays have proven a fickle opponent for the Yankees this season, Ducey believes tonight’s pitching matchup gives the visitors an edge.
New York will send left-hander Jordan Montgomery to the hill Wednesday night, while Tampa Bay will counter with right-hander Shane Baz. According to Ducey, Montgomery should have an edge against this Rays lineup.
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Yankees vs. Rays prediction
“[The] Tampa Bay Rays are 14th in team wRC+ against left-handed pitchers…and 14th in swinging strike rate lately,” Ducey says.
Although Montgomery’s strikeout rate sits at only 19 percent, his whiff rate is in the top-20 percent of the league. As a result, Ducey expects the Rays, which sits 26th in barrel rate over the last two weeks, will struggle to get their bats on the ball.
On the flip-side, although Baz tends to strike out a lot of hitters, there’s one key issue according to Ducey: his inexperience at the major-league level.
Baz has only recorded 21 and two-thirds innings so far this season, with two of his good starts coming against poor teams (the Marlins and the Orioles). Plus, in a start last season against the Yankees, Baz only managed to reach the third inning.
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Add in that Baz struggles to limit hard-hit balls and Ducey believes the Yankees — third in wRC+ over the last two weeks — will be able to take advantage offensively.
For all those reasons, Ducey is recommending to back the New York Yankees for tonight’s contest.
Yankees vs. Rays pick
Yankees moneyline (-140) – Caesars Sportsbook