The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays square off on Saturday with first pitch set for 6:10 p.m. ET. The game takes place at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL and will only be available on local TV or through an MLB.tv subscription. The Yankees will start with Clark Schmidt (5-3, 2.89 ERA) and the Rays will counter with Corey Kluber (9-7, 4.21 ERA).
New York (79-53) is looking to rid their memories of a horrendous August performance, but the start to September hasn’t been promising. The Yankees are 5-5 overall in their last 10 outings and have lost back-to-back games, including a 9-0 rout by the Rays in their series opener. The bats have undoubtedly been the issue for the Yankees, who have hit just .175 as a team over their last three games. After looking like the best team in baseball for a majority of the season, New York’s division lead is just 5.0 games ahead of Tampa Bay in the AL East.
Tampa Bay (73-57) is closing in on the Bronx Bombers and has the momentum in their favor heading into Saturday’s matchup. The Rays are 8-2 over their past 10 games and have rattled off four straight wins, including a dominant series-opening victory over their AL East rival. Tampa Bay’s .562 winning percentage ties them with the Seattle Mariners for the top AL Wild card spot as of today, but don’t limit your expectations just yet. If the Rays continue to surge while the Yankees continue to freefall, perhaps we see a shift at the top of the AL East.
Yankees vs. Rays
Pitchers: Clarke Schmidt vs. Corey Kluber
First pitch: 6:10 p.m. ET
Yankees local broadcast: YES Network
Rays local broadcast: Bally Sports Sun
Live stream: MLB.tv (subscription)
Odds, picks & predictions
Run Line: Rays -1.5 (+160)
Run total: 8
Moneyline odds: Yankees +110, Rays -130
Moneyline pick: Rays -130
Everyone is waiting on the moment when the Yankees turn their struggles around, but Saturday is not the moment. Tampa Bay is hot and has a strong 43-23 record at home, while the Yankees are just 34-33 in opposing ballparks. The momentum is in the Rays’ favor and they should get the win as the favorites in this one.
Player prop pick: Josh Donaldson over 0.5 total bases (-145)
Donaldson’s struggles at the plate have surely been a factor for the Yankees, but the same can be said for all their bats. Regardless, Donaldson is slashing .323/.417/.516 against Kluber on the hill, with two homers and eight singles to account for. Donaldson could rekindle the magic on Saturday if his track record proves trustworthy.
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