Picking a Winner in the Yankees vs. Rays Series – ALDS 2020
A couple of AL East foes are set to clash in San Diego with a trip to the ALCS on the line. New York made quick work of the Indians in the Wild Card Round, while Tampa Bay brushed Toronto aside without any overexertion.
The table is now set for the preseason favorites to go toe-to-toe with the #1 seed in the American League in a best-of-five series.
For more on what’s in store, check out this Yankees vs. Rays ALDS betting preview.
Yankees vs. Rays ALDS Series Odds
This series will be played at Petco Park in San Diego – erasing any home-field edge that Tampa Bay would have experienced. If you’re scratching you’re head wondering why New York is favored, know that you’re not alone.
Not only did Tampa Bay win the AL East and earn the top seed in the American League, but they made a killing off of New York all summer long. The Rays went 8-2 in their 10 meetings versus the Bronx Bombers and head into this series winners of six straight games.
Perhaps the public’s consistent urge to back the Yankees is what made the top sports betting sites install Tampa as the underdogs.
Why the New York Yankees Will Win
Explosive Power at the Plate. After enduring injuries all over the lot during the regular season, Aaron Boone finally has his almighty batting order intact. Aaron Judge is back in right field and settled into the two-hole. Giancarlo Stanton is manning the DH and sandwiched between Luke Voit and Gio Urshela.
Gleyber Torres went 5-7 with 8 total bases in the two games versus Cleveland, and DJ LeMahieu remains a rock in the leadoff position.
The $324 Million Man. Gerrit Cole can’t carry the Yanks to the American Championship League Series, but he can hoist them on his back and get them two/thirds of the way there.
Slated to start Monday’s game 1 at Petco, Cole will be available for a minimum of two starts. The right-handed hurler has completed 7 innings in four straight appearances and is coming off a masterful performance against Cleveland.
Gerrit Cole joins Tom Seaver (1973) as the only pitchers with 13+ Ks & 0 BBs in a postseason game. pic.twitter.com/FfhMi2bhEX— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) September 30, 2020
Hopefully, the Rays hitters aren’t as intimidated by Gerrit as their skipper is. After beating Cole on the final day of August, Kevin Cash offered the following to the press.
Why the Tampa Bay Rays Will Win
Versatility. Other than a short excursion of power displayed by Brandon Lowe, none of the Rays hitters stick out individually. However, the collection of talent and the way it’s utilized is what keeps the wheels turning.
Kevin Cash has done a miraculous job piecing together ways to win games, and there’s nothing to suggest his unique managing style can’t be sustained against New York. Tampa’s 11 runs in the two games versus Toronto were scored by eight different players.
A Trio of Aces. New York has one ace to rely on – Tampa Bay has three, plus one seriously deep bullpen. Blake Snell delivered 5.2 scoreless innings (9Ks, 1 hit allowed) in complete domination of the Blue Jays lineup to kick off the postseason. The 2018 AL Cy Young winner is locked and loaded for two starts in the ALDS.
Tyler Glasnow led the Majors with a video-game-like 14.2 K/9 rate and was excellent in the series-clinching win over Toronto. Then you got Charlie Morton, who has proven on numerous occasions that he’s more than capable of shining on the big stage.
Yankees vs. Rays Series Pick
The +108 odds make picking the Rays to beat the Yankees appealing. The fact that ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle states that Tampa has a 54.9% chance of winning this series makes backing the Rays quite compelling.
With that being said, my 2020 World Series prediction back in April was that the Pinstripers would be the last team standing when the AL Pennant race was over.
I’m not about to let a -128 price tag or a team of “average” hitters scare me away.
Yankees to Win the Series-128