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.
Gotta love postseason baseball pic.twitter.com/12vBqR1Yby
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) October 7, 2020
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.
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.
“I wasn’t overly surprised…I didn’t really care where I was pitching.”
Masahiro Tanaka on if he was surprised about starting Game 3 instead of Game 2 of the ALDS pic.twitter.com/cBCmkIeGks
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) October 6, 2020
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.
RANDY AROZARENA COMING OUT PARTY EVERYONE’S INVITED pic.twitter.com/yeqdCODAXj
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) October 7, 2020
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.
That’s the hardest-hit postseason home run tracked by Statcast (since 2015) pic.twitter.com/10yKLbIqXm
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 7, 2020
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)
Jordan Horrobin is a sports journalist whose MLB, NHL, NFL and NCAA work has appeared in outlets such as The Athletic, MLB.com, the Detroit Free Press and more. He is currently based in Toronto, also working as a contributor for Forbes.com and a freelance editor for Sportsnet.