The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees kicked off their first series of the season on Friday night, with the Yankees walking away with a 5-3 victory. Juan Soto continued his torrid start, swatting a three-run home run in the seventh inning. The Rays held the Yankees offense at bay for most of the game before their five-run seventh. It was a good bounce back for the Yankees after dropping their recent series to the Blue Jays and the Rays playing their way into the American League East race. The teams play Game 2 of the series at 1:05 PM ET on Saturday. It is time to continue our MLB odds series with a Rays-Yankees prediction, pick, and how-to-watch.

It looks like Aaron Civale will be in line to get the start for the Rays. He's had a solid start to the season, appearing in four games for the Rays and going six innings in three of them. He is 2-1 on the season, with a 2.74 ERA and 26 strikeouts. The Rays return home to face the Tigers after this series before going back on the road to take on the White Sox.

Luis Gil gets his fourth start for the Yankees in this game. Gil hasn't recorded a win yet, grabbing two no-decisions and a loss. Gil hasn't been able to stay in games long enough to get results, bowing out in the fifth inning in his first two starts before lasting the full five last time out against the Blue Jays. The Yankees will slowly ramp him up after Tommy John Surgery caused him to miss 2023.

Here are the MLB Odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

MLB Odds: Rays-Yankees Odds

Tampa Bay Rays: +1.5 (-184)

Moneyline: +104

New York Yankees: -1.5 (+152)

Moneyline: -122

Over: 8.5 (-110)

Under: 8.5 (-110)

How to Watch Rays vs. Yankees

Time: 1:35 PM ET/10:35 AM PT

TV: Bally Sports, YES

Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)

Why The Rays Will Cover The Spread/Win

The Rays get into trouble when their starters get pulled early and they have to rely on their bullpen. Some of their best bullpen arms are struggling to start the season. However, Civale is the pitcher-to-back if you want to take the bullpen issues out of play. He will give the Rays at least five quality innings, giving the Rays plenty of time to build a lead on the Yankees' recovering starter and weak bullpen.

Why The Yankees Will Cover The Spread/Win

Both offenses are struggling but the Yankees have more firepower to outlast a pitching duel. As we saw on Friday night, the Yankees were held scoreless for six innings until an explosive five-run seventh inning. Civale could shut down the Yankees again in this matchup, but if the Rays don't improve their 3.6 runs per game output then they will allow the Yankees to steal this game in the later innings.

Final Rays-Yankees Prediction & Pick

Both these teams have been struggling on offense in their last five games, with the Rays averaging 3.6 runs and the Yankees getting 4.6. The Rays bullpen is an area of concern for them, as they have a 5.43 ERA combined. Their closer, Pete Fairbanks has uncharacteristically allowed seven earned runs in seven innings. However, they have a workhorse on the mound on Sunday in Aaron Civale who is consistently giving six quality innings.

Luis Gil hasn't been able to stay in games long, but the Yankees bullpen has plenty of firepower to back him up, boasting a 2.80 ERA. It's a scary bet with these two explosive offenses, but recent form and the pitching matchup suggest that the under could be the play here.

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Final Rays-Yankees Prediction & Pick: Under 8.5 (-110)