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The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays will wrap up their series here with a Wednesday afternoon day game. Reigning Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell will be on the mound for Tampa, with veteran C.C. Sabathia starting for the Yankees. Due to the pitching matchup, oddsmakers have the Rays as slight road favorites here.
The Rays have been having a great season overall, although they have been slipping a bit recently. They were red hot in April and May, but they’re now just 4-6 in their last ten games entering Tuesday. That being said, I’m not too concerned. I think it’s just a temporary blip more than anything else, and they’ve played a pretty tough schedule recently. They’ll also have Blake Snell on the mound here, the defending AL Cy Young Award winner. He’s pitched twice against the Yankees this year, and he’s looked good both times. In his most recent start at Yankee Stadium a month ago, he gave up only one run in six innings.
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) January 3, 2019
One interesting thing about this Rays team is that they actually play much better on the road than at home. They’re 23-11 on the road this season, which shows that oddsmakers shouldn’t be downgrading them at all when they’re playing away from home. They always play well when Snell pitches, and are 17-7 in his last 24 starts. The Rays also have one of the best bullpens in the league, so even if Snell can’t make it too deep into this game they should be able to manage just fine. Tampa’s lineup hits lefties like Sabathia just fine, and they’re 12-4 in their last 16 road games vs. a left-handed starter.
Sabathia Falling Apart
Like the Rays, the Yankees have been having a fantastic season. Also, like the Rays, they’ve been struggling a bit recently. Over their past 14 games, they’ve gone just 6-8. This is a huge game for them as they look to hold off the Rays for first place in the division, and they’ll have C.C. Sabathia on the mound here. Sabathia got off to a hot start this season, but he’s been collapsing recently. Given that he’s 38, it’s not too surprising. His hot start always seemed like a fluke, and it doesn’t appear that the veteran lefty has much left in the tank. In three June starts Sabathia has a 6.89 ERA, giving up 24 hits in just 15 and 2/3 innings.
New York doesn’t hit lefties like Snell well, which explains why they’ve struggled both times that they’ve faced him this season. In fact, the Yanks are just 1-4 in their last five games against left-handed starters. The Yankees will have Giancarlo Stanton back for this one as he returns from injury, but I don’t think it will matter too much. Stanton missed 68 games, and he should be pretty rusty. Sabathia just doesn’t have it anymore, and the Yankees are 3-7 in his last ten starts against teams with winning records. They’ve lost all three of his starts this month, and he’s given up at least seven hits in each of those outings.
- 3-7 in Sabathia’s last 10 starts vs. teams with winning records
- 1-4 in their last 5 games vs. left-handed starters
- 2-5 in their last 7 home games vs. a left-handed starter
- 17-7 in Snell’s last 24 games
- 12-4 in their last 16 road games vs. a left-handed starter
- 9-2 in Snell’s last 11 starts vs. American League East
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I’m laying it with the Rays here. They have a much better record on the road than at home this year, but oddsmakers continue to discount them on the road. Snell is the defending Cy Young Award winner, while Sabathia is 38 and just doesn’t have it anymore. The Yankees don’t hit lefties like Snell well, and Tampa will easily win this one.
Prediction: Rays -120
Full-Game Total Pick
I like the over even more in this spot. Snell won the Cy Young last year, which prompted oddsmakers to start respecting him a little too much. He hasn’t been nearly as good this year, entering this one with a 3.70 ERA. Sabathia also has been a disaster recently, and it’s clear his hot start was a fluke. As such, both sides should have plenty of success offensively, and this one should be very high scoring.