Yankees vs. Rays Pick MLB – August 23rd

Yesterday was another good day and the win pushed my win streak to four games in a row and five of my last six.  I felt good about my pick when posting it, but definitely had a nice moment of “hmmm” a few hours later, being on the other side of a pick than Kyle.  Like all handicappers, I take my sport seriously and aim to deliver winning games, weeks, months and seasons.  Kyle has been on fire big time.  SO, a big tip of the cap to him, he’s a really, really good handicapper.  It definitely makes one pause to have an opposite pick!  And a quick note that I’ll do my best to make sure we avoid picks on the same games as much as humanly possible.

In the bigger world of MLB, was there a better bet last week than the New York Yankees??  Apparently, plunking A-Rod might NOT have been the wisest moves.  It seems to have awoken an aging, yet prideful ballclub.  And besides, with an alleged twenty years of steroid use under his belt, is a mere pitched ball really going to hurt Alex?  Of course not, it simply bounced harmlessly away as if it struck an armored-up, steroid-oozing, 2003 Barry Bonds…

As of today, the Yankees are just three games back in the wild card race, and with Jeter almost ready to come back, all of a sudden they are a team that can’t be ignored as a factor in September.

Let’s try to keep things rolling today with a fifth consecutive winner.

New York Yankees -105 at Tampa Bay Rays -105 (Total: 7)

Hiroki Kuroda (11-8, 2.41 ERA) vs. Chris Archer (6-5, 2.95 ERA)

Thanks to the hot play of each team, this series goes from a “good series” in late August, to an absolutely fantastic must-watch.  It kicks off in grand fashion tonight with the Yankees handing the ball to their ace, looking to close to within four back of the Rays and perhaps as close as 2.5 in the wildcard if the A’s lose.

But it won’t be easy.  The Yankees have historically had tough battles in Tampa Bay, dating all the way back to the miracle collapse on the final day of the 2011 season.   This season the two teams have played fairly evenly, but a ton of runs have been scored in the process.  These two have tallied double digit runs totals in six of their last ten games and under seven only twice.  I think that trend continues tonight.

This could be a good chance to sneak a win with the OVER.  ON paper, Kuroda looks like a great bet.  He enters with a sparkling 2.45 ERA and a WHIP of just 1.05.  He has been on fire lately, with a 1.73 ERA and 32 K against just 5 BBs since the All Star Break, however, in his career against the Rays it has been a different story.  He has a lifetime ERA of 6.11 against Tampa Bay, his worst against any opponent.

Chris Archer has been solid for Tampa, but his last three starts have been a little rough, going 0-1 with a 4.64 ERA.  Tonight, he gets a red-hot Yankee lineup.

Give me the OVER tonight, and enjoy a good baseball game in the process.

Free Pick:  Run TOTAL OVER 7