New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays MLB Odds and Pick for June 22nd

We’ve got another full slate of baseball action on Wednesday with games scattered throughout the day. Tonight, the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays will renew their divisional rivalry when they continue their midweek series at Tropicana Field.

The two teams have split the first two games of their series to this point. New York came away with a late 4-2 win in Monday’s series opener before the Rays edged the Yankees, 5-4, in last night’s rematch.

New York has claimed six of the nine head-to-head meetings with Tampa Bay on the year, though the Rays can clinch their first series victory over the AL East leaders with a win in tonight’s finale. The Yankees will have lefty Jordan Montgomery on the mound in this one, while the Rays will counter with rookie right-hander Shane Baz.

The Yankees are betting favorites in just about every game they play these days, and tonight’s contest is no exception. Oddsmakers have Aaron Boone’s squad listed as -140 moneyline favorites in a game with a very low over/under of just seven runs.

New York Yankees

The Bronx Bombers have been among the betting favorites to win the World Series for the last several years. However, the 27-time champions haven’t even won an AL pennant since 2009, which happened to be the last time they won it all. 13 years isn’t a drought for the vast majority of American sports franchises, but it certainly is one for this team.

However, thanks to a 50-18 start, the Yanks are currently +450 favorites to win a 28th title later this fall. Most thought this was finally the Blue Jays’ year to rise to the top of the division, but the Yankees already have an incredible 12-game lead over second-place Toronto in the standings. Boston is 12.5 games back, while the Rays, who finished last season with the American League’s best record, are 13 games adrift of New York and alone in fourth place.

Is a .735 winning percentage sustainable? We’ll see, but the Yankees have enjoyed a fairly clean bill of health thus far. Previous seasons have been derailed by injuries, but that hasn’t been the case so far in 2022. Here’s hoping the likes of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and others can actually stay healthy enough to give us a glimpse as to what they’re capable of come October.

New York has scored the most runs of any team in the American League (348) while allowing the fewest in all of baseball (204). Sounds like a winning combination. The Dodgers (plus-120) are the only team in the Yankees’ run differential stratosphere, but New York (plus-144) does have a healthy lead in that department.
Montgomery is one of the more under-the-radar starters in baseball. The southpaw is off to a 3-1 start with a tidy 2.72 ERA through his first 13 games of the season. That includes an excellent 1.86 ERA through three outings so far this month, with just four earned runs allowed in 19.1 innings pitched since the calendar flipped to June.

The Rays aren’t an easy matchup despite a slew of injuries, however. Tampa Bay’s projected lineup for this one has a low 17.1 percent strikeout rate against left-handed pitching, so the Rays should be putting the ball in play quite a bit here. We saw Tampa Bay make quick work of another good lefty, Nestor Cortes, just last night.

Tampa Bay Rays

While the Yankees have been able to keep their players on the field, the same can’t be said of the Rays. Tampa Bay lost both Manuel Margot and Kevin Kiermaier to the injured list after Monday’s game, where they joined Brandon Lowe, Wander Franco, Mike Zunino, JP Feyereisen, Pete Fairbanks, JT Chargois, Nick Anderson, Drew Rasmussen, Luis Patino, Tyler Glasnow, and Brendan McKay. Tampa Bay essentially has an All-Star team’s worth of players currently on the shelf.

So, the fact that the Rays are still six games over the .500 mark is a pretty impressive accomplishment.

Tampa Bay’s win on Tuesday night was powered by Isaac Paredes, who was acquired in the controversial preseason trade that sent slugger Austin Meadows to Detroit. Paredes drove in four of the Rays’ five runs. Yesterday’s game alone accounts for nearly half of Paredes’ season-long home run total (eight) and a quarter of his runs batted in (16).

Baz, one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball, will make his third start at the big-league level of the season. He’s 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA through his first two outings, though his numbers are skewed by one poor start. Baz allowed five runs, including a grand slam, and failed to make it out of the third inning in his 2022 debut against Minnesota.

Last time out, however, he held the Orioles scoreless on just two hits with seven strikeouts in six stellar innings of work.

Needless to say, Baz’s matchup against the Yankees tonight will be his toughest test of the young campaign. New York’s offense leads the majors in most offensive categories, including wRC+ (120), wOBA (.333), and home runs (112).

New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays MLB Game Pick

Tropicana Field is a pitcher-friendly park in general, but an over/under of seven runs looks awfully low for any game involving the Yankees.

Please Note:
Interestingly enough, the Yankees have actually been a better “under” bet so far this season, thanks in most part to their elite pitching. The “under” has cashed in nearly 54 percent of New York’s games, one of the best marks in the league.

Baz looks like the real deal, but young pitchers tend to be quite inconsistent after they initially break into the majors. On the year, New York has an astounding team isolated slugging rate of .232 with a hefty .347 wOBA against right-handed pitching. Aaron Judge should also be back in the lineup for this one after starting Tuesday’s game on the bench.

You don’t need this game to turn into a shootout in order for the over on seven runs to cash. The odds are juiced to the over (-120), and I think it’s justified. We’ll see more offense in this game than oddsmakers expect.

Over 7 runs

New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays Betting Recap

  • Moneyline: Yankees -140, Rays +120
  • Runline: Yankees -1.5 (+120), Rays +1.5 (-140)
  • Over/Under: Over 7 runs (-120), Under 7 runs (+100)
  • Pick: Over 7 runs (-120)


Taylor Smith / Author

Taylor is a sports writer based in Southern California. While he primarily specializes in basketball, baseball and football, he will also dabble in things like soccer and politics from time to time. He has lived in just about every corner of the United States at one point or another, and he has been covering sports and sports betting for the better part of a decade. Taylor currently lives in Long Beach with his fiancé and their two cats.

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