Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena is baseball’s hottest hitter, and he’s a big part of why Tampa Bay is one game away from advancing to the ALCS. Photo via @MLBStats (Twitter).
- The Yankees’ season is on the line in Game 4 of their ALDS with the Rays on Thursday, Oct. 8, at 7:10 pm ET
- Jordan Montgomery starts for New York against Rays’ opener Ryan Thompson
- Check out the article below for the odds, matchup analysis, and best bets for the Game 4 of the best-of-five series
Two days ago, the New York Yankees had the upper hand in their ALDS matchup with the Tampa Bay Rays. But now, roles are reversed and the Rays are one game away from advancing to the ALCS for just the second time in franchise history.
Perhaps Aaron Judge and company can find some solace in the fact that they’re moneyline favorites in the current Yankees vs. Rays odds in what is certainly the most pressing game of their season.
Rays vs Yankees Game 4 Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Runline||Over/Under Run Total|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+106||+1.5 (-168)||Over 9.5 (-106)|
|New York Yankees||-122||-1.5 (+142)||Under 9.5 (-114)|
Odds as of Oct. 8.
About Last Night
The Yankees are 3-2 this postseason when Giancarlo Stanton homers.
OK, that was sort of a tongue-in-cheek stat, but it’s true. Stanton mashed another ball over the wall on Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Rays, who hit a trifecta of long balls en route to an 8-4 win.
Rays starter Charlie Morton got through five innings and earned the win. Perhaps Tampa would’ve wanted a bit more depth from Morton ahead of a bullpen day, but at least he outdid his opponent, Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka.
Tanaka was chased after four innings, allowing eight hits and five runs.
After scoring 31 runs in their first three playoff games, the Yankees have five and four runs in their past two, respectively. Those are still totals that can produce wins, but they need more out of their pitching.
2020 World Series Odds Tracker
This is not a glamorous pitching matchup, and it’ll be difficult for bettors to really know who has the edge.
Ryan Thompson, a rookie, has a 4.44 ERA and 4.33 FIP in 26.1 innings for the Rays this year. He’ll likely only throw an inning or two before giving way to Tampa Bay’s deep and successful bullpen (albeit a little less successful this series than usual).
What a 93 mph sidewinder looks like coming at you
(Rays’ Ryan Thompson — release point almost 4 feet to the 3B side of the rubber and less than 4 feet off the ground) pic.twitter.com/gB1pAPZmSU
— David Adler (@_dadler) August 20, 2020
Jordan Montgomery is 2-3 with a 5.11 ERA in 10 starts — but that includes a 3.87 FIP, which suggests he has been better than his results. Like Thompson, he’ll be making his MLB playoff debut. Unlike Thompson, he might stick around for normal starter’s duties if he pitches well enough.
Jordan Montgomery with a career-high 9 strikeouts 🔥 @Gumbynation34 pic.twitter.com/aflyr9ATNQ
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 12, 2020
That’s what makes this dicey for bettors: we know the Rays’ bullpen is proven, but it has still run into some trouble this series. The Yankees have a more traditional starter in place, but he’s a back-of-the-rotation guy.
Arozarena’s Coming Out Party
Nobody is playing baseball as well as Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena right now. In five postseason games, the 25-year-old has posted a .600/.636/1.250 slash line. He has also homered in all three ALDS games.
Randy Arozarena crushes this HR into left field 😯
He has a HR in 3 straight games pic.twitter.com/OzY5AwPZed
— Bleacher Report MLB (@BR_MLB) October 8, 2020
Yes, Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton homered again in Game 3, marking his sixth homer in five playoff games. That deserves to be mentioned, because Stanton is always one swing away from changing a game.
But Arozarena isn’t just getting it done with power. He’s finding ways to get on base (as he did four times on Wednesday) and wearing down pitchers. No one would’ve believed this even a couple months ago, but Arozarena is rightfully the most feared hitter in baseball right now.
Pair that with arguably the most feared bullpen left in action? You might be looking at the recipe to knock off the Yankees.
Pick: Tampa Bay Rays (+106)
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.