Yankee players celebrating a home run

The New York Yankees are moneyline favorites over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 3 of the ALDS on Wednesday thanks to a deep offensive attack. Photo via @MLBStats (Twitter).

  • A critical ALDS Game 3 between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays takes place Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 7:10 pm ET, with the series tied 1-1
  • In their first “home” game of the playoffs, the Yankees start Masahiro Tanaka opposite the Rays’ Charlie Morton
  • Find the odds, matchup analysis, and best bets for the Game 3 of the series in the article below

An even series between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays shifts to Game 3 on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 7:10 pm ET, with both teams trying to push their opponent to the brink of elimination.

True to form, the AL East foes played each other close again. For the ninth time in 12 meetings this season, the game was decided by three or fewer runs.

The narrow odds suggest the same will be true in Game 3.

Rays vs Yankees Game 3 Odds

Team Moneyline Runline Over/Under Run Total
Tampa Bay Rays +106 +1.5 (-184) Over 9.0 (-118)
New York Yankees -122 -1.5 (+154) Under 9.0 (-104)

Odds as of Oct. 7. 

About Last Night

The Yankees’ strategy of piggybacking one starter off another did not work, as Deivi Garcia and J.A. Happ were tagged for five runs combined across 3.2 innings of work.

Tampa Bay rode its fast start to a 7-5 victory, thanks in part to Nick Anderson’s ability to escape an eighth-inning jam. Even in the ninth, the Yankees were only a swing away from flipping the script, as Aaron Judge grounded out with two on while representing the go-ahead run.

All of this is to say, the closeness of the Yankees-Rays season series has carried over into the playoffs. That makes it even more important for bettors to find an edge where they can.

Pitching Matchup

A pitching battle between Masahiro Tanaka (3-3, 3.56 ERA) and Charlie Morton (2-2, 4.74 ERA) is a pair of 30-somethings who have been there and done that — much different than the duel between youngsters in Game 2.

Tanaka has a stellar postseason record, going 5-3 with a 2.70 ERA in nine starts. His most recent outing was his most concerning, however, as Tanaka allowed six earned runs in just four innings during the Wild-Card round in a no-decision against the Indians.

What’s noteworthy about Morton is that the 36-year-old spent just over three weeks on the injured list this season with right-shoulder inflammation. He came back in September and made five decent starts, going 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA. The most encouraging part was his eight strikeouts over five innings in his final start.

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?

Randy Arozarena has nine hits in four postseason games and more than half of them have gone for extra bases. The outfielder stayed hot Tuesday, opening the scoring with a first-inning solo shot. He is batting out of his mind right now, slashing .563/.588/1.188.

On the other end of the spectrum is Brandon Lowe, who has followed his MVP-calibre campaign with a bunch of dud postseason performances. Lowe had a .916 OPS this season, but that has plummeted to .369 in the playoffs. He went 0-for-4 on Tuesday.

The Yankees don’t have anyone nearly as cold as Lowe. Frankly, their offense has been stupendous. Above all, Giancarlo Stanton is absolutely mashing right now.

Stanton has five hits in four postseason games, but get this: they’re all homers. The Rays have 20 RBI as a team and Stanton has 11 RBI by himself.

Honestly, though, the Yankees’ offense goes much deeper. An astounding seven players have an OPS of 1.000 or more in the playoffs right now, which is what makes them a promising pick to bounce back in Game 3.

Pick: New York Yankees (-122)

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