Bet of the Day – New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays, Sept 14, 2010 7:10 ET

New York Yankees (+130) at Tampa Bay Rays (-140), Over/Under 9

Yesterday’s bet was a loser.  It was close, but the Jet’s offense was terrible.  We did win our other two twitter picks on the Braves and Rays.  Hopefully we turn it around today with the New York Yankees visiting the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Rays took the opener in extra innings last night and now lead the Yankees by 0.5 games.  The Yankees have a comfortable 7 game lead in the wild card.  The Yankees have 18 games remaining but 15 of those are against above .500 teams.  The Rays have 19 games remaining but 13 of those are against teams below .500.  Tampa Bay clearly has the easier path and decent play may assure they are the AL East winners.

The Yankees (87-57) have lost 4 straight games; their longest losing streak of the season.  They have been close, losing 4 of the last 5 by 1 run.  They have lost 6 of 7 batting .212 with a .301 OBP for 2.9 runs per game.  That stretch includes 3 games vs. Baltimore and Texas and last night’s matchup in Tampa.  Starting pitcher Ivan Nova (1-0, 1.338 WHIP in 4 starts) has been good for the Yankees this year.  The Ray’s haven’t seen him yet; this may help the Yankees.  Nova will need a solid start and the Yankee bats need to regress to their mean to win this game.

The Rays won last night.  They have won 4 of 7 batting .240 with a .344 OBP for 7.3 runs per game.  The Rays will send Matt Garza (14-8, 1.208 WHIP) to the mound coming off his 1st loss since August 11th.  This was his worst loss of the season.  Garza has been tough at home (7-2, 1.101 WHIP).  Only 66 of his 163 hits allowed and 9 of his 25 HRs allowed have come at home.  The Rays are 44-26 at home and a rebound outing from Garza will make this a tough night for the Yankees.

My baseball simulation predicts Tampa Bay 4.16 over New York 3.8 for 7.96 total runs.  Digging into the data, the Rays are the better pitching team.  The Yankees are clearly superior hitters, but the Rays draw a high number of walks, accumulate stolen bases and score efficiently.  The major variance contributors to the model are the Rays scoring efficiency and the walks and hits allowed by Ivan Nova.  What does this mean?  It means that the Rays rely on a grinding way of scoring runs dependent on base runners.  For Ivan Nova, it means that if he pitches to his average the Rays will likely score the projected runs.  But one deviation up or down in walks and hits allowed and this is a much different game.

This is a very tough game to call and there were definitely easier games out there today, but it is the spirit of this blog to take on the day’s biggest and toughest games.  That’s why I am taking the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Yankees will turn it around, but I don’t think it will be tonight.  After losing 4 straight, it is very hard to win on the road against a division rival.  With 4 starts, teams now have intel on Ivan Nova and he is more vulnerable tonight.  Garza has proven in the past he can rebound from bad games.  The Rays have been scoring runs lately while the Yankees are in a slump.  Bet the Tampa Bay Rays on the money line -140.  Follow me on twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

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One Response to Bet of the Day – New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays, Sept 14, 2010 7:10 ET

  1. Pingback: Weekly Results – September 13th to 19th « Derek Bets

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