MLB

Yankees Open Four-Game Series With Rays

The New York Yankees look to extend their lead in the American League East when they visit the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday afternoon.

New York Yankees (55-29) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (50-37)

Thursday, July 4 at 5:10 PM ET

Tropicana Field

Coverage: MLB Network

The Yankees are -109 favorites and according to the computer projections at FiveThirtyEight, they win this game 51 percent of the time, which gives us a -104 line using an odds converter, so taking the side could have value.

Jazz Sports set the total for this game at 9 and NumberFire gives the Under a 51.2 percent likelihood. FiveThirtyEight doesn't project scores but Jeff Sagarin at USA Today assigns each team an offensive and defensive rating so let's interpret those numbers.

Here's what Sagarin has for these two teams:

Yankees: 3.44 OFF, 3.18 DEF

Rays: 3.11 OFF, 2.84 DEF

Now we multiply one team's offense with the other's defense to get the first team's projected score:

Yankees: 9.77

Rays: 9.89

Now we subtract each number by the provided constant, which is 5.80 in this case.

Yankees: 3.97

Rays: 4.09

This gives us a combined score of 8.06 runs, so it seems like we're supposed to play the Under in this game. The Rays will send seven right-handed batters against J.A. Happ, who has a .342 Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) against righties, but all those players have an Isolated Power (ISO) under .257 against left-handers.

Left-handers are hitting just .184 against Yonny Chirinos and the Yankees will have five lefties in their lineup all with Isolated Power (ISO) under .256 against right-handers.

The MLB Trends also support our calculations, as the Under is:

4-0 in Happ's last four starts after allowing two runs or less in their previous game

6-1 in Happ's last seven starts when their opponent scores five runs or more in their previous game

5-1 in Happ's last six starts against American League East opponents

4-1-1 in Tampa Bay's last six games when their opponent allows two runs or less in their previous game

5-0-1 in Chirinos' last six starts overall

5-0-1 in Chirinos' last six starts against a team with a winning record

MLB Pick: Under 9 (-115) at Jazz Sports

Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzonaff

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