Rays vs. Yankees odds, pick, prediction: New York juggernaut

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The New York Yankees are on their way to a historic regular season. Winners of six in a row and 12 of their last 13 games, the Bombers now pace the Major Leagues in wins, runs scored, runs allowed, wOBA, wRC+, home runs, ERA, and xFIP. No matter if you’re looking at surface-level stats or predictive metrics, the Yanks’ 46-16 record is as legitimate as it is impressive.

As is always the case when a team — especially a public darling like the Yankees — gets off to a start like this, the market has adjusted, and bettors will now have to pay a premium to get action on the Yanks. In fact, according to Action Labs the Yankees have closed as an underdog just four times this entire season. 

Rays vs. Yankees odds

Odds provided by BetMGM

Spread: TB +1.5 (+100) vs. NYY -1.5 (_120)

Moneyline; TB (+200) vs. NYY (-250)

Total: Over 8 (-105) | Under 8 (-115)



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Rays vs. Yankees prediction

Perhaps more astounding is the fact that the Yankees have closed at -200 or longer in 27 of their 62 games (43.5%) so far this season and have gone 23-4  in those contests. That’s an 85.2% win rate, which would equate to average odds of -575. 

The Yankees will try to continue that trend on Thursday night, as they’re -245 favorites behind Luis Severino against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium.

Severino, like the rest of the Yankees staff, has been superb so far in 2022. The 28-year-old was limited to just 18 innings of work since 2018, but rust doesn’t seem to be an issue as Severino has posted a 2.80 ERA, 2.57 xERA, and 3.18 xFIP over 61 innings of work. 

Rays Yankees preview
Aaron Judge
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The Rays will counter Severino with a bullpen game, opened by Jalen Beeks, who has been effective in short outings for the Rays. Beeks has pitched to a 1.38 ERA, 2.90 xERA, and 2.72 xFIP in 26 innings this season. He will be backed up by a bullpen that boasts the fifth-best ERA in the Major Leagues in 2022.

Betting on underdogs has not gone well this season. In fact, according to the Action Network, underdogs entered play on June 15th with a 39% win rate and a -9.4% ROI. 

How bad is that? According to Action Labs data, which goes back to 2005, the only other season where underdogs won fewer than 40% of games was the 2020 shortened season. Dogs returned a -4.4% ROI that season.

There’s no shame in passing on this game and deciding not to step in front of this Yankee train right now, but getting +205 on a team as good as the Rays is a decent proposition, especially since the pitching matchup isn’t all that one-sided.

Sean Zerillo’s Action Network MLB Model projects the Rays as a +178 underdog on Thursday, so there’s some value on Tampa Bay in this one. It just takes some gall to bet it.

Rays vs. Yankees pick

Tampa Bay Rays +200 (BetMGM)



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