Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees Pick – MLB October 1, 2021

The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees meet at Yankee Stadium for a three-game series to close out the regular season. The Yankees are in the driver’s seat when it comes to the wildcard, but their magic number still stands at two going into Friday night.

They could get in without winning another game and some help, but it’s better to just control your own destiny and not worry about what others are doing. There’s also homefield for the Wild Card Round in play here.

If the postseason started today, the Yankees would be hosting the Boston Red Sox or Seattle Mariners. The Red Sox and Mariners are in a deadlock as we go into the weekend. The Mariners have been red-hot over the last month and have come out of nowhere.

The Yankees needed to come from behind to get into the postseason picture as well. For much of the season, the Yankees weren’t playing like a playoff team. However, like I’ve said before, the most important thing is getting hot at the right time.

The Mariners and Yankees are both playing quality baseball at the moment. The Yanks are coming off a big series win against the Toronto Blue Jays. They won two of three games for a big push, and to set the Jays’ postseason bid in reverse.

The Tampa Bay Rays are coming off a 3-2 loss against the Houston Astros last night. The Astros clinched the AL West with the win. Tampa can’t be concerned with that loss, as they’ve wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the American League.

They enter the Bronx with a record of 98-61, so will be unable to catch the San Francisco Giants for homefield advantage through October. However, they have to be thrilled with what they’ve done this season to win the American League.

It’s all about staying healthy and focused right now for the Rays. Shane McClanahan is scheduled to receive his final start of the regular season at Yankee Stadium. Nestor Cortes is slated to open this one on the mound for the Yanks. Head below for our free Rays vs. Yankees pick on October 1, 2021.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees Live Odds and Betting History:

The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Tampa Bay Rays +1.5 (-170) +110 Over 8.5 (-115)
NY Yankees -1.5 (+150) -120 Under 8.5 (-105)
Team Data Tampa Bay Rays NY Yankees
Overall Record 98-61 91-68
Away/Home Record 46-32 45-33
Batting Average .239 .237
Batting Average Away/Home .239 .232
Runs Per 9 5.38 4.54
Team ERA 3.73 3.71
Team ERA Away/Home 4.54 3.61

Rays vs. Yankees Prediction:

Rookie Shane McClanahan hasn’t had any problems in his first season in the major leagues. Some pitchers just figure it out right away while it can take a few years for others. McClanahan is setting himself up for high expectations next season.

He is going into Yankee Stadium with an ERA of 3.44 and a 1.28 WHIP through 121 innings of work. The Rays have appreciated his hot hand getting even hotter in September.

McClanahan has posted an ERA of 1.20 and a 1.00 WHIP in his previous three attempts. He’s given up only 2 earned runs in his last 15 innings.

Unfortunately for McClanahan, two of those games were losses as he got no run support from his offense. McClanahan dropped a 2-1 final to the Boston Red Sox, and then a 2-0 loss against the Detroit Tigers two starts back on September 19.

McClanahan has been in strong form on the road with an ERA of 3.38 and a 1.21 WHIP. He’s been slightly better on the road with a 3.50 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP on the road. Are they any warning signs in this one? The Yankees for one have had success against McClanahan.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees Betting Trends:


  • Record (Last 10): 6-4
  • 5-1 overall in their previous six games after a loss
  • 2-5 overall in their previous seven games as an underdog on the road
  • 2-5 overall in their previous previous seven games versus a team with a winning record
  • UNDER is 5-0 in their previous five games as an underdog
  • UNDER is 4-0 in their previous four games
  • Shane McClanahan ERA (Last 3): 1.20


  • Record (Last 10): 8-2
  • 8-1 overall in their previous nine games
  • 5-1 overall in their previous six games
  • 5-1 overall in their previous six games versus the NL East
  • 7-1 overall in their previous eight games on a Friday
  • Nestor Cortes ERA (Last 3): 3.60

The Yankees have liked hitting against McClanahan this season. They’re hitting .402 with a .476 OBP in 32 at-bats. The Yanks have scored 5 RBIs against McClanahan, with Gio Urshela responsible for 4 of them and a home run. There are five hitters in the Yankees’ lineup going better than .333 versus McClanahan.

Nestor Cortes is expected to back the Yankees on the mound tonight. He has liked pitching at Yankee Stadium. Across 43.1 innings of work, Cortes has posted an ERA of 2.38 and a 1.01 WHIP.

Overall, Cortes has been solid pretty well everywhere. He has an ERA of 2.85 and a 1.08 WHIP through 89 innings. The Rays are hitting .269 against Cortes in 42 at-bats, so it’s been adequate, but could be better.

After the Rays’ loss last night, I’m expecting them to have their mind focused towards the postseason and not the Yankees tonight. The series against the Astros may have been their final dress rehearsal. I’m going with the Yankees to come up big in their wildcard push at home tonight.


Rays vs. Yankees Pick
Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.

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