Game Time: 7:05 pm ET, Friday October 1, 2021
Venue: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Where to Watch: MLB Network
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Moneyline odds: Rays +110, Yankees -130; Over/Under: 8.5 runs
Bet365: Moneyline odds: Rays +105, Yankees -125; Over/Under: 8.5 runs
BetMGM: Moneyline odds: Rays +110, Yankees -135; Over/Under: 8.5 runs
Tampa Bay Rays: 98-60 (1st place, AL East)
New York Yankees: 90-68 (2nd place, AL East)
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Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees Preview and Analysis
Tampa Bay Rays: 6-4 last 10
New York Yankees: 7-3 last 10
Tampa Bay Rays Analysis
The Rays are coming into this game after winning 7-0 against the Houston Astros on Wednesday with their series finale on Thursday still to be played, that result is pending. This will be the series opener on Friday of their three-game series against the Yankees, this will be their last series before the postseason starts. The Rays have now won 3 of their last 4 games after their win on Wednesday. Collin McHugh is getting the nod for Thursday's game while Shane McClanahan will be the starting pitcher on the mound for them in this game on Friday. He is 10-6 with a 3.44 ERA this season. He was credited with a win in his last time out but his team has actually lost 3 of their last 4 games when he was starting. In his last start, he allowed 1 run, it being a HR, and 1 BB with 3 Ks on 6 hits through 5 IP against the Miami Marlins last Saturday. He has seen the Yankees lineup twice this season and he is 0-2 against them as he allowed more than 3 runs scored against him in each of those games. Their offense has scored 28 runs in their last 5 games averaging almost 6 runs scored per game in that span while they have allowed their opponents to score 9 runs against them in that same span allowing a little under 2 runs per game.
New York Yankees Analysis
The Yankees are coming into this game after losing to the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on Wednesday. They came back from a 5-1 deficit in that game and tied it just to go on to lose anyway in the end. That loss snapped a 7 game winning streak that they were on with Thursday's game still to be played, that result is pending. This will be the series opener of their series with the Rays on Friday. Corey Kluber is the starter for Thursday's game while Nestor Cortes Jr. will be throwing the first pitch in this game on Friday. He is 2-2 with a 2.85 ERA this season. He has been solid recently with his team winning their last 3 games and 4 of their last 5 when he has started on the bump. In his last start, he allowed 2 ER, 1 being a HR, and 0 BB with 4 strikeouts on 4 hits through 4.1 innings of work against the Boston Red Sox last Saturday. He has seen the Rays lineup once this season in a no-decision that his team went on to win as he allowed just 1 run in that game. Their offense has scored 31 runs in their last 5 games averaging a little over 6 runs scored per game in that span while they have allowed their opponents to score 17 runs against them in that same span allowing over 3 runs per game.
Rays vs Yankees Prediction
The Rays have already clinched their spot in the postseason but going up against these American League East division rivals of theirs, they are likely to come and try to play spoiler so they do not have to see them in the postseason. The Yankees are in a Wild Card spot currently with the Boston Red Sox behind them by 1 game and then the Seattle Mariners and the Toronto Blue Jays both on the outside just less than 1 game out each. The pressure is on the Yankees to make a move here but they have been responding well this last week when put in this situation. They are playing very well right now and it is hard to stop that kind of momentum when they are still on a mission and trying to complete it with just 1 series left in the season. They have the motivation and the drive to get the win here so the best bet to make in this game is on the Yankees to win.
Rays Yankees Prediction: Our MLB Pick for Friday October 1, 2021 (7:05 pm ET start time) is Yankees 6 Rays 4.
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MLB Betting Trends
Tampa Bay Rays: 64-53 (+26.8 units) on the money line as an underdog of +100 or higher. 248-158 (+40 units) on the money line in all games. 114-78 (+23.3 units) on the money line in road games.
New York Yankees: 70-57 (-25.8 units) on the money line as a favorite of -110 or higher. 45-33 (-12.6 units) on the money line in home games.
Tampa Bay Rays: Y. Diaz (3B) Out Thurs - Ribs injury. M. Wisler (RP) Early Oct - Finger injury. N. Anderson (RP) Early Oct - Back injury.
New York Yankees: L. Voit (1B) Ques Thurs - Knee injury. J. Gallo (LF) Ques Thurs - Forearm injury. J. Taillon (SP) Ques Sun - Ankle injury.
Players to Watch
Tampa Bay Rays: Randy Arozarena is one player to watch in this matchup. He leads his team in hits and in stolen bases. His team is still looking to win games even after clinching their division so look for him to contribute to that here and get on base as he can be a dangerous baserunner once on.
New York Yankees: Aaron Judge is one player to watch here. He leads his team in batting average and he has been killing it over the last week as his team looks to secure their spot in the postseason. The Yankees are nowhere near being safe just yet so look for him to give it his all in this game and help his team score some runs to win their last few games of the regular season.
"I don't think we're satisfied. We still have a chance to win 100 games." - Drew Rasmussen on him and his teammates' mentality after clinching their division.
"Our game plan to establish the fastball and their game plan to jump on it kind of matched up together." - Gerrit Cole after his performance against the Jays on Wednesday.
Tampa Bay Rays
B. Lowe 2B
W. Franco SS
N. Cruz DH
J. Choi 1B
J. Wendle 3B
M. Margot LF
K. Kiermaier CF
B. Phillips RF
F. Mejia C
New York Yankees
D. LeMahieu 3B
A. Rizzo 1B
A. Judge RF
G. Stanton DH
J. Gallo LF
G. Torres 2B
G. Urshela SS
B. Gardner CF
K. Higashioka C
Tampa Bay Rays
Batting Average: W. Franco (.290)
Hits: Randy Arozarena (140)
Home Runs: Brandon Lowe (35)
RBI: Austin Meadows (103)
Stolen Bases: Randy Arozarena (16)
Wins: S. McClanahan (10)
Saves: Andrew Kittredge (7)
ERA: C. McHugh (1.60)
New York Yankees
Batting Average: A. Judge (.285)
Hits: D. LeMahieu (160)
Home Runs: J. Gallo (38)
RBI: G. Stanton (96)
Stolen Bases: T. Wade (17)
Wins: G. Cole (16)
Saves: A. Chapman (30)
ERA: J. Loaisiga (2.22)
Tampa Bay Rays: Kevin Cash (7th season)
New York Yankees: Aaron Boone (4th season)
64 degrees F sunny, 49% humidity, 0% chance of rain, up to 7 mph wind speeds SE.