The suddenly-resurgent New York Yankees look to make up some ground in the AL East as they welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to the Bronx for a key four-game set this weekend. First pitch from Yankee Stadium is set for 7:05 p.m. ET. Drew Rasmussen (3-2, 3.11 ERA) will go for Tampa Bay, while righty Domingo German (2-2, 4.35) gets the ball for New York.
The Rays are currently listed as -115 on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Yankees are listed at -105. The run total is set at 8.
Rays-Yankees picks: Thursday, May 11
Out: SP Tyler Glasnow (oblique), RP Pete Fairbanks (forearm)
Day to day: OF Aaron Hicks (hip)
Out: DH Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring), SP Carlos Rodon (back), SP Luis Severino (lat), 3B Josh Donaldson (hamstring), INF Oswald Peraza (ankle), RP Jonathan Loaisiga (elbow), C Ben Rortvedt (shoulder)
Drew Rasmussen vs. Domingo German
Rasmussen has been a bit boom-or-bust this year, with four scoreless outings but also three starts in which he’s allowed 13 runs over a combined 14 innings. The righty’s two breaking balls — a sweeper to righties and a curve to lefties — haven’t been nearly as effective as they were during his breakout last year, with double-digit drops in whiff rate. But when he’s on, he’s still the king of weak contact, using his devastating cutter to generate lots of ground balls. His last start was a great one against this same Yankees team (albeit without Aaron Judge), with 5.2 innings of shutout ball and just two hits allowed.
The home-run ball continues to give German problems, but the righty has been much improved this year after being thrust into the rotation due to injuries to Rodon and Severino. His curveball has taken a true leap, with a 38.5% whiff rate, and the righty now throws it over 40% of the time. His pedestrian fastball still gets hit hard, but when his curve and change are on he can be tough to beat. German’s last start also came against Rasmussen and the Rays, and he held his own with five innings of two-run ball.
The fearsome Rays offense has come back to Earth a bit of late, clearing this number just three times in their last six games, while Rasmussen shouldn’t have too much trouble with a Yankees lineup that’s still very thin even despite Judge returning. German could always implode, but he’s been far more reliable this year.
Pick: Under 8
The Yankees haven’t proven they can solve Rasmussen yet, while German’s shaky command and mediocre fastball make him too prone to the long ball. Expect a couple Tampa homers to be the difference on Thursday night.