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New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays
Tied for second in the AL East standings, 3.0 games behind leading Boston, New York and Tampa Bay, open a three-game series tonight. The first pitch for the Yankees vs. Rays is scheduled for 7:10 pm ET at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. This is the third series between these teams and the seventh of 19 meetings this season. The Rays won twice, 10-5 and 4-0 before the Yankees avoided a road sweep with an 8-4 F / 10 victory during the first series. That was followed by Tampa Bay beating New York 18-7 during a 3-0 sweep at Yankee Stadium. The Rays are not favorites at home.
New York (18-16) had a three- and five-game losing streak and won no more than two in a row during a 6-11 start to the season. Turning things up, the Yankees are 12-5 in their last 17 games. New York heads to Florida after a 3-0 sweep over Detroit, plus 2-1 series wins against Houston and Washington, during a nine-game stay at home. The Yankees held a 38-15 point lead during the seven wins and were outscored 18-8 during the two losses. New York is 9-12 against teams with a winning record. The Yankees had a day off yesterday and are 7-7 on the road this season.
Tampa Bay (19-17) also had a day off to travel on Monday, and just completed a 17-game streak over 17 days. The Rays return home after a 4-0 sweep over the Angels in Los Angeles and a 2-1 series loss at Oakland. Tampa Bay outscored the Angels by a 26-10 margin, and all four wins were by two or more runs. That was followed by two losses to the Athletics, 2-1 and 6-3, before a 4-3 win in the series finale on Sunday. Tampa Bay hitters lead the league with 373 strikeouts in 36 games. The Rays and Yankees are tied for 24th overall with a team batting average of .222.
Using a bullpen rotation to open this series, RHP Luis Patiño (1-0, 1.17 ERA) is making his second start for Tampa Bay. He has allowed one run and three hits, in 7.2 innings, during one start and two relief appearances. Third on the depth chart, LHP Jordan Montgomery (1–1, 4.41 ERA) makes his seventh outing for New York. He held Baltimore to four hits, in six scoreless innings, during his first start. Since then, he has allowed three or more runs in four of his last five starts. Four of the first six games in this series exceeded eight races in total. Bet that trend continues.
Pick: Total game MORE THAN 8 (-109) races
Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox
Meeting for the first time this season, Minnesota and Chicago open a three-game series in Windy City. The playing time for the Twins vs. White Sox is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET at the guaranteed rate field in Chicago, Ill. The White Sox (-121) and Twins (+125) were preseason favorites to win the AL Central. Chicago lives up to the hype, while Minnesota doesn’t. These teams divided the season series 5-5 last year. Eight of those games were decided by at least two runs. The White Sox went 4-2 in games played in Chicago, winning three of the last four meetings.
Minnesota opened the 2020 MLB season with a 20-12 record after 32 games. The Twins are a mirror opposite this year, struggling through a 12-20 start. After winning five of its first seven games, Minnesota was depressed during a 2-13 meltdown. A little more competitive, the Twins enter this series with a recent 5-5 streak. Minnesota leads Chicago after splitting two games in Detroit. The Tigers and Twins won 7-3 before Game 3 was postponed due to rain on Sunday. Those results are the status quo for the Twins, as two or more runs have decided 13 of their last 15 games.
Chicago (19-13) was inconsistent at first when they opened the season with a 6-8 record. Since then, the White Sox have won 13 of their last 18 games and didn’t lose two in a row at any point during that run. Chicago is one game ahead of Cleveland, and they are 3.5 games ahead of Kansas City in the AL Central standings. After defeating the Royals, the White Sox return home by a combined 21–4 count during a 3–0 weekend series sweep in Kansas City. Before that, Chicago won 9-0 and lost 1-0 F / 10 to the Reds in Cincinnati. Two or more runs have decided 15 of the White Sox’s last 17 games.
On a hot streak, after allowing four hits in 13 innings without allowing a run, RHP Dylan Cease (2-0, 2.37 ERA) is making his seventh start for Chicago. RHP Kenta Maeda (2–2, 5.02 ERA) starts for Minnesota. In 5.1 scoreless innings, he allowed two hits during the Twins’ 6-5 home win over Texas in their last start on May 3. Before that, Maeda allowed 12 runs, in just 8.2 innings, during two previous starts. Overall, Chicago is scoring 5.12 runs, while Minnesota is averaging 4.68 runs per game. The White Sox allow 3.46 runs and the Twins allow 4.75 runs on defense. Put the races and bet on Chicago.
Pick: Chicago White Sox running line -1.5 (+176)
2021 MLB regular season betting record: 21-25 (-4.80 units)
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.