Not the biggest card on Monday night, with two MNF games on the schedule. There are just a few American League games, so hopefully we can nail one from the small board. 1-2 day on Sunday in the NFL. Luckily was able to snap my worst losing streak in football on the Rams, but not what I was looking for. I took the weekend off from baseball to focus on football, but it’s back to bases tonight, where I am closing in on another winning year. We head to New York, yes, New York for this matchup between the Yankees and Rays. Because of the hurricane blanketing Florida at the moment, and a bullseye on Tampa, this series has been moved to New York.
It won’t be at Yankee Stadium, but a neutral field at Citi Field, home of the Mets. Well, “neutral” field, this game won’t be in the Bronx but it’ll still be in nearby Queens. The Rays will be listed as the home team, so just a forewarning before some people get confused. At the end of the day, it’s a big game for both teams tonight. The Yankees have an upper hand in the wildcard race, 3.5 games up on the competition. That’s been the case for the last month or so. Conversely, they’re 3.5 behind the Red Sox, which has been the case, too. They’ve been within striking distance, yet feel so far away as they stay in one place treading water.
Meanwhile, the Rays are 3.5 back of a wildcard, so there is some consistency with distance between positions here! There are five teams ahead of the Rays who are also looking to reach the postseason. In other words, not only must you play mistake free baseball over the next few weeks, the Rays have to hope those teams are the ones making mistakes. Jake Odorizzi will be counted on to steer the ship on the hill tonight for the Rays. CC Sabathia will counter Odorizzi at Citi Field tonight. Get our free Yankees vs. Rays pick below.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays Pick
CC Sabathia (11-5, 3.91 ERA) vs. Jake Odorizzi (8-7, 4.58 ERA)
Sabathia has been a consistent option for the Yanks in the starting rotation. Without him pitching considerably well, the Yankees wouldn’t be holding on to a wildcard at the moment. 2014 Sabathia? No, I do not believe they’d be here. He enters with an ERA of 3.91. He is coming off a rather shoddy start against the Orioles, getting drilled for 5 runs across 5.1 innings. Nevertheless, Sabathia has to be happy that they’re playing this game at Citi Field and not Yankee Stadium. He holds a 3.25 ERA on the road vs a 4.71 ERA at Yankee Stadium.
He faced Tampa three times this season. The one time he got hit well was in the Bronx. The other two starts in Tampa, Sabathia allowed just 1 run across 10 innings of work. In other words, he should like the fact they didn’t make this a true home game for the Yankees. Odorizzi hasn’t been particularly good at home or on the road. He can be good, but far too often he is prone to getting abused on the mound. The Rays broke a three-game losing streak yesterday by beating the Red Sox, 4-1. Now, the Red Sox will hope that the Rays can take a win away from the Yankees. It should be a good game, but I think the Yankees get this one at Citi Field. The pick is the Yankees.
PICK: YANKEES (-135)