It was a slow start to the season for the defending American League champions, but the hangover of losing the World Series is now gone for the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays went 22-6 in May with an astounding +74 run differential. The month included win streaks off 11, five, and five, the latter of which is current.
They swept the Toronto Blue Jays and NL East leading New York Mets. They also improved to 7-3 on the season against the New York Yankees, swept the Philadelphia Phillies, and took four on the road against the LA Angels.
The Rays enter June with a 35-20 record overall and a very impressive 20-7 mark away from Tropicana Field. They are 15-5 against the three division foes not named the Boston Red Sox after dropping their only three meetings against Boston April 5-7.
The Rays have the chance to start June by really putting some distance between themselves and the Yankees with games in New York Tuesday and Wednesday. The Rays are two games clear of Boston in the AL East, with the Yankees 5.5 back and Toronto 6.5 back.
The Rays begin June with the best record in all of baseball, but the sportsbooks still aren’t convinced. DraftKings has the Yankees as the AL East favorites at +150, with the Rays at +160 and Boston at +375. Tampa Bay is +450 to repeat as AL champions, behind the Chicago White Sox (+275) and the Yankees (+390).
DeGrom Filthy in Latest Outing
Jacob deGrom may have missed a couple of starts, but he sure didn’t lose any of his stuff. The New York Mets ace threw 10 fastballs over 100 mph in the first inning alone on Monday night in vanquishing the Arizona Diamondbacks. When all was said and done, he finished with eight strikeouts over six shutout innings while allowing just two hits.
DeGrom enters June with a 4-2 record and a 0.71 ERA in eight starts. He has 82 strikeouts in 51 innings with just seven walks, and opponents are batting .129 against him. Since returning from the IL he has allowed one run on five hits over 11 innings with 17 strikeouts and no walks.
DeGrom is a huge favorite to win his third NL Cy Young award sitting at -143. The next best odds are with Milwaukee Brewers starters Corbin Burns (+650) and Brandon Woodruff (+750).
The 26-20Mets are -225 to win the NL East as they lead the Atlanta Braves (+280) by 3.5 games. They are +400 to win the pennant and +950 to win the World Series.
Tatis Finishes Off May in Style
After missing a stretch of games early in the month, Fernando Tatis Jr. returned to the San Diego Padres lineup and solidified his MVP candidacy. Tatis hit .353/.440/.824 in 20 games in May with nine homers, five doubles, eight steals, 21 runs scored, and 26 RBI. In his last 12 games, he has 12 extra-base hits, seven homers, and 23 RBI.
He enters June tied for the NL lead in home runs (16) with Ronald Acuna Jr. and also leads the league in steals with 12. Tatis is feasting on right-handed pitching with a .321 average and 14 home runs on the season.
The Padres shortstop enters June at +300 to win the NL MVP award, trailing only Acuna at +280. The Padres are +350 to win the NL and +700 to win the World Series. They are 34-21 on the season, a half game behind San Francisco in the NL West, and just ahead of the LA Dodgers.
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