Tonight the American League playoffs will see another team head home.  Will it be the Rays or the Yankees playing golf on Monday? Read on and see what Matt has to say about the game and a parlay bet for Friday night.

Yankees (Gerrit Cole | 7-3, 2.84) vs. Rays (Tyler Glasnow | 5-1, 4.08)

Friday night makes the end of the season for one of these two powerhouses in the AL East.  While the Rays ended the season with a better record AND had a chance to eliminate the Yankees last night, they are underdogs in this game.

So, have the Yankees earned their -150 favorite odds, or is the market flooded with blind bets on the Bombers as usual?

Well, they are finally healthy on the offense, and with a lineup featuring the likes of DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton can knock any team around.

The Yankees will also be sending their best starter to the mound in Gerrit Cole, their star free-agent acquisition this offseason.

So far, Cole has lived up the hype surrounding his procurement.  He went 7-3 with a 2.84 ERA in his inaugural season in pinstripes.  While those numbers aren’t Cy Young worthy as many expected from him, in my mind, it’s more important that he didn’t implode under the bright New York lights.  Where Cole really shined this year was his strikeout rate of just under 12 per nine innings and his 0.96 WHIP.

As is the case with most games that Cole starts, the offense needs to chip in just a reasonable amount for the Yankees to extend their season to the ALCS.

I feel good about their chances to do just that despite having to come back from behind in this series.

Even in their losses, the offense has looked solid, scoring four and five runs respectively on those two games.  In their wins, they’ve totaled 14 runs against the Rays pitching, including tonight’s starter Tyler Glasnow.

Despite earning the win, Glasnow gave up four runs in just five innings of work in game two.  He was bailed out by J.A. Happ who completely dookied the Yankees collective bed and singlehandedly lost the game in my not so humble opinion.  Even still the Yankees almost won that game.

I am not suggesting that Glasnow is a huge liability or a bad pitcher.  But, the Yankees can bang anyone around and I don’t see Glasnow’s game 5 ending up that much different than his game 2.

The difference here is Cole, and whether he can keep it together for one more game.

One thing is for sure, if he does, the NY media and fans will tear him apart. As one of those NY fans, I disagree with the usual actions of my peers, but they don’t care what I think and will have Cole an enemy of the state by morning.

Luckily, I don’t see this happening here.  I fully expect Cole to show up with his big boy pants and keep the Rays bats in check/

Now, the Yankees odds to win aren’t all that tempting but they are plus money on the runline at +117 which is the best bang for your buck play for me here.  I know, a lot of sharp money is on the Rays +135 to win outright but I’m not confident that this team can keep up with a Yankee team in must-win mode.

Sticking with the Yankees bats, I also like the OVER 7 to hit here. So far, aside from last night’s six-run game, every postseason game the Yankees have played thus far has ended in double digits and cashed the over easily.  I think we see more of the same tonight, a big win for the Yankees and runs-o-plenty.

Best Bet:  New York Yankees -1.5 (+117) & OVER 7 runs (-122)