Rays, Twins American League Best Bets for August 16

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August 16

There are multiple games today beginning this evening on the American League schedule, and there’s value to target in these spots. Below, you can find both games from the American League and some of our best bets on the FanDuel Sportsbook.Tampa Bay Rays (+144) vs. New York Yankees (-172) Total: 7 (O -112, U -108)

The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees will play Game 2 of a three-game series tonight from Yankee Stadium. The Rays opened the series last night with an impressive 4-0 victory over the Yanks, which has them tied with the Toronto Blue Jays for the second Wild Card position in the American League. The Rays also own a 6-4 record over their past ten games and have won three straight overall, while the Yankees have been in a rut, having lost two straight while positing a 2-8 record over that same sample size. If there was a time in the year when the Yankees wouldn’t mind struggling, it’s probably right now before September, but they still hold a ten-game advantage in the AL East and have some wiggle room to figure things out before games start to matter. They’re slowly falling behind the Houston Astros for the top spot in the AL, and if they want that to change, they need to break out of this slump. 

Pitching has continued to be a strong suit for the Rays, while the same could have been said of the Yankees up until their most recent slump. Still, there’s a good pitching matchup on tap for tonight’s game. Jeffrey Springs will take the mound for the Rays while the Yankees send out Nestor Cortes. The Rays lefty owns a 4-3 record with a 2.56 ERA and 91 strikeouts, while the Yankees lefthander is 9-3 with a 2.67 ERA and 125 punchouts. Springs has pitched well in previous meetings with the Yankees, while the Rays have found some success against Cortes. Both have been consistent and effective this year.

The Yankees will eventually break out of this slump because there’s far too much talent on this roster to think otherwise, but for the time being, the Rays look to be the play tonight. Springs should continue to baffle Yankee hitters, while the Rays have value on the moneyline at +144.

Best Bet: Rays moneyline (+144)

Kansas City Royals (+164) vs. Minnesota Twins (-196) Total: 8 (O -104, U -118)

The Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins are set to collide for Game 2 of a three-game series tonight from Target Field. The Twins are trying to stay afloat in the tight race for the AL Central crown and opened the series yesterday with a 4-2 victory over the Royals. Minnesota enters this game sitting two games behind the Cleveland Guardians in the division while also being two games back in the Wild Card. The Twins own a 4-6 record over their past ten games, while the Royals are 6-4 over that same stretch. If the Twins have aspirations to get back to the postseason this year, these are the type of matchups they need to win. Minnesota has likely overachieved, but it’s still in the race and could keep things interesting down the stretch. 

Pitching certainly hasn’t been a strength for the Royals, while the Twins’ arms have also been up and down. Minnesota will send one of its more consistent arms to the bump with Sonny Gray, while the Royals are expected to counter with longtime veteran Zack Greinke. Gray owns a 6-3 record, with a 3.33 ERA and 79 strikeouts, while Greinke is 4-7 with a 4.29 ERA and 57 punchouts. Gray has already made one start against the Royals this season, which saw him pitch six innings and allow one earned run, which should play well in this matchup. On the other hand, Greinke has a 6.00 ERA in two starts against the Twins this year, which should work in the home side’s favor. 

The Twins need to pick up victories in games like this, and even though there’s not much value with the moneyline at -196, there is some with them on the run line at +108. That number looks appetizing on this slate of games and should be considered. 

Best Bet: Twins run line (+108)

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