Yanks Head to Tampa
The surprising Tampa Bay Rays are breaking club marks with every victory, and they aren't showing any signs of slowing down.
On the heels of another record, the surging Rays will try to win a franchise-best 10th straight at home on Monday when they open a four-game series against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made New York -110 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 92% of bets for this game have been placed on New York -110 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.
Tampa Bay (21-16) has won 13 of its last 18 games - a successful stretch that has been fueled by the team's play at home.
The Rays are 13-7 as hosts thus far after posting a ninth consecutive home victory on Sunday in an 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels to complete a three-game sweep. The streak began with three home wins over Toronto at Disney World from April 22-24.
Sunday's victory also helped them climb five games over .500 for the first time in the team's existence.
"We feel like we're going to win every game right now," said two-time All-Star Carl Crawford, who had a three-run homer and two stolen bases in the win. "We know that's not possible, but we have the confidence to feel that way."
J.P. Howell tossed three scoreless innings of relief, while Troy Percival worked the ninth for his ninth save in 10 opportunities for Tampa Bay, which has won four straight and five of six overall.
Tampa Bay, however, has struggled versus New York (19-19), dropping the last four matchups to fall to 2-4 in the 2008 season series. The Rays haven't lost five straight to the Yankees since June 30-Sept. 22, 2006.
The Rays hope Matt Garza can extend the team's recent success as he is coming off his best performance of the season.
Garza (1-1, 4.91 ERA) limited the Blue Jays to one run and six hits over 6 2-3 innings, despite suffering a 6-2 loss in Toronto on Wednesday.
The right-hander is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two career appearances against the Yankees. In his lone start against them, he gave up five runs and seven hits over 4 2-3 innings of a 10-1 loss on Sept. 3, 2006 in New York, while pitching for Minnesota.
The Yankees are coming off a weather-shortened series in Detroit as Sunday's finale was postponed by rain. They earned a 5-2 win on Saturday, getting six strong innings from starter Darrell Rasner.
Mariano Rivera worked a scoreless ninth for this 10th save for New York, which has won two of three to move back to .500.
"That's what we need from these young guys," Rivera told the Yankees' official Web site. "He stepped up big for us."
New York hopes Andy Pettitte can do the same after his start was moved to Monday.
Pettitte (3-3, 3.77) is 0-2 with a 5.71 ERA in his last three starts, but turned in a solid effort in his last outing, despite not receiving a decision. The veteran left-hander limited Cleveland to just two runs and five hits over 6 1-3 innings of a 5-3 home loss on Tuesday.
Pettitte's next victory will tie him with Bob Shawkey for fifth on the franchise list (168).
He is 14-3 with a 3.62 ERA in 23 career appearances versus the Rays, going 8-1 with a 3.30 ERA in 11 starts in Tampa Bay.
He has split two starts against them this season after giving up three runs and nine hits in seven innings of a 5-3 road win on April 15. Bet this game.
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