Wednesday, October 7, 2020, Petco Park, San Diego, California, 7:10 p.m. ET
Rays at Yankees Betting Preview: Rays (-184), Yankees (+154)
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays matched their franchise postseason record of four homers in Game 2 and are showing they can match New York’s potent offense. Mike Zunino and Manuel Margot smacked two run-homers while Randy Arozarena and Austin Meadows hit solo blasts as Tampa Bay posted a 7-5 win. Arozarena is particularly hot, going 5-for-8 with two homers as the Rays split the first two games of the series.
Right-hander Charlie Morton will start for the Rays in his first appearance since Sept. 25. The 36-year-old veteran is 4-2 with a 3.83 ERA in 10 career starts against the Yankees. Giancarlo Stanton is 9-for 26 (.346) with a homer against Morton while Brett Gardner is 8-for-22 (.364) with three homers.
Tampa Bay pitchers combined for 18 strikeouts Tuesday to set an all-time record for a nine-inning postseason game, with right-handed reliever Nick Anderson turning in two perfect innings. Anderson entered with two on in the seventh and struck out three consecutive hitters, then added another strikeout in the eighth.
New York Yankees
Stanton has slugged three homers in the series, including two in New York’s Game 2 loss, and he has five in four postseason games. The five blasts tie Reggie Jackson (1977) for the third-most homers in a single postseason in Yankees history, just behind the franchise record shared by Bernie Williams (1996) and Alex Rodriguez (2009). The rest of the New York batters had just three hits in Game 2, with slugger Aaron Judge going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.
Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka makes his second start of the postseason. He wasn’t sharp last week against the Cleveland Indians as he gave up six runs and five hits in four-plus innings while receiving a no-decision. Tanaka is 11-5 with a 3.31 ERA in 21 career starts against the Rays and has served up two homers apiece to Kevin Kiermaier, Meadows and Zunino.
Four Yankees struck out three times and two others fanned twice in Game 2, and that is no way to win a playoff game. New York drew six walks, but the abundance of strikeouts negated momentum. Stanton drove in four of the five runs on his two homers.
Rays at Yankees Betting Pick for Game 3
The big names are on the Yankees, but the Rays aren’t the least bit intimidated after going 8-2 in the regular season against New York. Tampa Bay also responded from the series-opening, 9-3 loss with a solid effort that featured four homers. Look for the Rays to move ahead in the series on Wednesday.
Rays at Yankees Betting Pick:
Ray 6, Yankees 4
Rays at Yankees Best Bet for Game 3
With Stanton blasting balls into nearby galaxies and the Rays clubbing four on Tuesday, it is a good bet more balls will be flying out of Petco Park. The teams combined for 12 runs in each of the first two games.
Rays at Yankees Best Bet: OVER 9 total runs (-118)
–Field Level Media