AL East Division Rivals Meet in MLB Betting

MLB betting is almost always popular on the New York Yankees. The defending World Series champs are usually favored in baseball betting but that might not be the case on Friday as they face the Tampa Bay Rays.

MLB betting will have lines on the Yankees and Rays who will be meeting many times this season since they are American League East rivals.  The Yankees are the favorites to win the World Series but the Rays are not without a chance.  Tampa has a talented young team that could challenge the Yankees.  The Rays will be interesting to watch in this game that can be seen on the MLB Network. 

One key to Tampa Bay in baseball betting this season will be the play of center fielder B.J. Upton.  This season Upton is healthy and he is a major part of the Tampa Bay offense. "Just being able to come out and do everything with the team," Upton said. "Just having a normal Spring Training, it's nice. Last year was different for me coming in here and being with these guys all day. Then my day would be done, and I kind of had to get out of their way. It's just a little bit different to be a part of everything."

If Upton has a big year he would really make Tampa Bay a tough team to handle in MLB betting.  The Rays already have Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena in the middle of their lineup.  If Upton provides power then the Rays are going to win a lot of game in MLB betting. Last season Upton hit just.241 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs. "I think with everything going on last year I just couldn't quite get a finger on it," Upton said. "This year we kind of knew what it was and kind of where I wanted to be, and that's kind of what we're working on right now. My timing has to be right, and I don't think it ever really was last season."

Tampa Bay is planning to hit Upton seventh in the lineup. Manager Joe Maddon said that is not a slight on Upton.  The Rays are looking at hitting Jason Bartlett first followed by Carl Crawford, Ben Zobrist, Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria, Pat Burrell, Upton, Kelly Shoppach or Dioner Navarro and either Matt Joyce or Gabe Kapler.  It is a very good lineup that can score runs and impact MLB betting.