When the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees meet up on Wednesday night, we’ll have the two betting favorites for AL Cy Young facing off against each other.
Shane McClanahan and Nestor Cortes Jr. have both been brilliant for their respective ballclubs. The two have posted a combined 12-4 record with an ERA of 1.91. It’s been nothing but dominance from McClanahan and Cortes.
It’s also excellent that we’re getting lefty vs. lefty action.
So, as the two prepare to match off, what should we bettors expect?
Read on for the starting lineups, betting odds, and my prediction for this Wednesday matchup.
Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees Odds
There was a chance we got a total of 6.5 here, but with how prolific these two offenses are, we’re getting 7 juiced to the over (-120 or so).
I’m surprised to see the Yankees all the way down at -140, but they have been the far superior team this season. The Bronx Bombers are the best team in baseball, and it might not be particularly close.
Tampa Bay Rays Starting Lineup
RF M. Margot R
DH H. Ramirez R
1B Y. Diaz R
LF R. Arozarena R
3B I. Paredes R
C F. Mejia S
SS T. Walls S
CF K. Kiermaier L
2B V. Brujan S
Tampa Bay Rays vs Nestor Cortes Jr.
It’s just fun to watch Cortes pitch. He combines a four-seam fastball and a cutter to get guys to fly out rather than ground out. He has one of the highest avg. launch angles allowed in MLB this season, yet he has one of the lowest WHIPs (.92) and xERAs (2.39).
His cutter and four-seam create quite the deadly combination. He really only has one other pitch in his slider, as he’s only thrown his changeup and sinker a combined 74 times. The slider is a particularly average pitch, but his whole arsenal manages to produce outs.
Plus, he’s willing to do anything to get an out.
this was the moment we knew the 2022 Yankees were actually different pic.twitter.com/KVkptD1aZE
— lucash (@sub2lucash) June 14, 2022
Over the last month, Tampa has just a 94 wRC+ and is 26th in OPS with a .662. During that stretch, their .267 BABIP is dead last in baseball, so perhaps there is some positive regression coming for the Rays.
Interestingly, the Rays hit the ball hard but rarely square it up. They’re just one of seven teams this season with less than 100 barrels, and they rank 22nd in MLB in both doubles and home runs.
But Tampa has struggled a bit with injuries. They’ve struggled to keep Mike Zunino, Brandon Lowe, and Wander Franco on the field – those three represent a huge chunk of their offensive production.
This Tampa offense could be scary with everyone in the fold.
But, it’ll always be the pitching that wins games in Tampa. This staff is as good and deep as any in the league, and it all starts with McClanahan.
New York Yankees Starting Lineup
3B DJ LeMahieu R
RF A. Judge R
1B A. Rizzo L
LF G. Stanton R
DH J. Donaldson R
2B G. Torres R
SS I. Kiner-Falefa R
C J. Trevino R
CF A. Hicks S
New York Yankees vs Shane McClanahan
It’s sometimes hard to understand how Cortes is as good as he is. He doesn’t have the shutdown fastball or some bendy slurve.
It is not hard to understand how McClanahan is so good.
He strikes out over 12 batters per nine innings. His fastball touches triple digits while his changeup and curveball move two inches horizontally than the average secondary pitch. Between the three pitches, he’s posted a combined -17 Run Value.
Shane McClanahan, Nasty Changeups. 👌
7th and 8th Ks. pic.twitter.com/QTP6YJaKiN
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 9, 2022
McClanahan is so overpowering. It’s easy to see why he’s the current betting favorite to win AL Cy Young.
He’ll go up against Aaron Judge and the best lineup in MLB. These Yankees hit the ball so hard, and there’s just not much more needed to say about a team that leads the league in wRC+, OPS, and home runs.
However, they managed just two runs in the win Tuesday night. The Bombers will struggle more against McClanahan.
Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees Pick and Prediction
My picks: Tampa Bay Rays ML (+126 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
I have to back McClanahan on the mound, even over Cortes.
McClanahan just has better expected statistics. His 2.02 xFIP is one of the lowest in baseball and is far better than Cortes’ 3.24 xFIP. Plus, Cortes has a .250 BABIP, which seems like that could come back up.
Plus, this is a play on the market. While Tampa is getting just 23% of the ML tickets, the Rays are also getting 50% of the ML handle. This is a good spot to contrarian bet a dominant Yankees team.
I’ll take the Rays at plus-money today. Anything over +110 will suffice.