OddsJam’s MLB experts take you through the best picks for the Rays vs. Yankees and the Phillies vs. Nationals on June 16th, 2022.
Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees
7:05 p.m. ET
There is no better team in the MLB right now than the New York Yankees. They lead the league in practically every major statistical category: run differential, on-base-average, ERA and of course home runs.
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That said, no one should be discounting the opponent tonight in the Rays. They are a tough matchup but fighting against key injuries to Franco, Lowe, Zunino and potentially Kiermaier tonight.
It should be an interesting start tonight from Jalen Beeks, who will be making his second start of the season. As a middle reliever, Beeks has rarely been asked to pitch more than 2 innings, so this looks like a starter-by-committee, which bears well for the Yankees. It’s unlikely for one pitcher to be able to dissect this lineup, it’s even more unlikely for 4 or 5 to in one game. The Rays have thrown their best at the Yankees the past two matchups and it wasn’t good enough. Tonight should be the most lopsided win of a sweep.
The Phillies are wheeling out their ace tonight in the first of a long 5 game series in Washington. Zach Wheeler is an elite option, with a 2.84 ERA and 75 strikeouts over 63 innings pitched, fourth highest of any pitcher with under 70 innings pitched.
But his stats are not as kind when playing away from home, the ERA runs up to 5.57 on a 1-1 record. The Phillies like to keep him deep into games but aren’t afraid to pull anyone who is struggling.
The real issue for Wheeler tonight though is that the Nationals are very good at avoiding strikeouts. They rank second lowest in the MLB with 7.3 strikeouts per game, and that’s including a tough last outing with 12 strikeouts against the Braves last night. Whether he goes into the 6th or 7th, Wheeler will have a tougher time punching out the Nats than he has other teams this season, so I like his under tonight.