Rays vs Yankees Picks and Predictions: New York Avoids Sweep on Back of Cortes' Gem

After Tampa Bay picked up a win in the first game of the series, New York will send Nestor Cortes to the mound. Will the lefty be able to help his team get back in the win column? Find out in our MLB betting picks and predictions for Rays vs. Yankees.

Last Updated: Aug 16, 2022 3:34 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Nestor Cortes New York Yankees MLB
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The New York Yankees have spent 119 days in first place in the American League East, and although they are 16-13 straight up since the beginning of July and the offense is stalling, the Bombers might not need a ton of run support to steal a victory tonight vs. Jeffrey Springs and the Tampa Bay Rays as -170 favorites.

Find out where my best bets lie in my free MLB betting picks and predictions for Rays vs. Yankees. 

Rays vs Yankees odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Yankees opened as short as -185 (PointsBet) last night but have settled around -170 at most major books as of Tuesday morning. The total has started to see some movement to the Under and currently sits as low of Under 7.5 -130. 

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Rays vs Yankees predictions

Picks made on 8/16/2022 at 9:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Rays vs Yankees game info

Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Date: Tuesday, August 16, 2022
First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
TV: TBS

Rays vs Yankees betting preview

Starting pitchers

Jeffrey Springs (4-3, 2.56 ERA): Since his return from injury, Springs had some mixed results. Although his 2.56 ERA is shiny, he did own a 1.45 ERA just eight starts ago. He’s allowed at least two runs in seven straight starts, and even with bad outings being rare, he is consistently giving up a couple of runs over his four to five innings that his leash allows. In his only start vs. the Yankees this season, the Rays dropped a 2-0 decision with Springs throwing five innings and allowing a pair of solo homers. 

Nestor Cortes (9-3, 2.67 ERA): Lefty Nestor Cortes is still bringing elite stuff to the mound. He is a perfect 4-0 at home with batters hitting just .178 off of him with a .525 OPS. The Rays will likely throw a full lineup of right-handed batters vs. the southpaw. On the season, righties are hitting .220 off Cortes with a .271 OBP. He’s seen the Rays twice this year on the road and has one elite start (one run over eight innings) and a sub-par outing (four runs over 4 1-3 innings).

 

Weather

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Key injuries

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Betting trend to know

The Under is 5-0-1 in the Yankees’ last six overall. Find more MLB betting trends for Rays vs. Yankees

Rays vs Yankees picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

With the recent inconsistencies of Gerrit Cole, he was still priced as a heavy -225 favorite last night vs. an opener in Jalen Beeks. Cole currently owns a 3.30 ERA with an xERA of 3.08. Nestor Cortes comes in with a 2.67 ERA and a 2.83 xERA and there is a case that Cortes has been the more consistent starter for the Bombers.

Cole has allowed four or more runs in four of his last eight starts while Cortes has given up four or more runs just three times over 21 starts. To me, Cortes’ consistency is worth a bet tonight and -170 isn’t an awful price when you consider Cole was -225 last night.

Even though the Yankees’ offense is coming off a shutout and is scoring just 3.46 runs per game in August, Cortes should keep New York in this game as his home splits are elite. Over his nine starts at Yankee Stadium, the lefty hasn't taken a loss and owns a 2.03 ERA with a .178 batting average against. 

With New York starting a southpaw, the Rays will likely take out the left-handed bats in their lineup which include No. 2 hitter Brandon Lowe, No. 4 hitter David Peralta, and No. 6 hitter Ji-Man Choi. The right-handed bats that will likely sub in (Yu Chang, Roman Quinn, and Christian Bethancourt) are a drop off from a run-production standpoint and a big advantage for the home team. 

The Yankees are banged up, but that’s baked into the price. Cortes might be undervalued in this spot and I don’t think the difference between yesterday and today is worth 55 points for the Rays. Cortes closed as a -290 favorite in his last start against the Royals.    

PredictionYankees moneyline (-170 at bet365)

Over/Under analysis

Although we think there is a slight price discrepancy in the Yankees’ moneyline, it’s the total that has us racing to get down on the Under 7.5.

Firstly, Yankee Stadium is playing as the No. 4 pitcher-friendly park on the slate today. That’s thanks to 77-degree temps and winds blowing in from right field which should make the short porch play a little longer. The Rays will also be right-handed heavy in the lineup making home runs to right even more improbable. The same goes for New York who will see lefty Jeffrey Springs.

Springs hasn’t held his opponent to one or fewer runs in eight straight starts. but he has been consistent and has avoided bad games all season. Of his 15 starts, he has allowed more than three runs just once.

He’ll also face a Yanks' offense that is without Giancarlo Stanton and Matt Carpenter who are two slugging sticks in the lineup while DJ LeMahieu is also questionable. There are still enough decent bats in this lineup to get the win, but the Yankees likely won’t be putting up six-plus runs tonight. 

Instead, they will rely on Cortes to shut down a Tampa lineup that sits 22nd in the league in slugging percentage vs. left-handed pitching, and then hand things over to a bullpen that is getting even better as Aroldis Chapman has allowed just three hits and zero runs over his last nine appearances (9 1-3 innings).

With the Rays using an opener yesterday and the total closing at 7.5, we’re even more confident in today’s Under with a pair of struggling offenses that will be playing the matchup game with a pair of lefty starters.

This Under saw some money around 9:20 a.m. ET and moved the total with some books posting -130 for the Under 7.5. This game could certainly close at 7. 

PredictionUnder 7.5 (-120 at BetMGM)

Best bet

I love the Under 7.5, but I also know when to find platoon situations where a batter might only see two or three plate appearances.

With New York starting a lefty, Christian Bethancourt will likely draw the start for the Rays. He is projected to hit out of the six spot in the lineup, but will most certainly get pulled for a better left-handed bat once the Yankees turn things over to their bullpen. 

The catcher is hitting just .188 since coming over from the Athletics and if Cortes is dealing, Bethancourt might only see him two times before giving way to a bench player.

His Under 0.5 hits is currently +155 at bet365, which makes for a low-risk/high-reward bet. This is an angle all bettors should be following and the number will certainly fall in price as other books are at +145. 

Christian Bethancourt Prop Pick: Under 0.5 hits (+155 at bet365)

MLB parlays

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