The Tampa Bay Rays took the ALDS's third game on Wednesday 8-4 to take a 2-1 series lead. A win on Thursday by Tampa Bay would send them to the ALCS and end the Yankee's season.
The Yankees will be the home team in Game 4 as they were in Game 3, although the entire series will be played at Petco Park in San Diego.
The Rays have now won 10 of the 13 head-to-head meetings against the Yankees this year, including the regular season.
Arozarena breaking thru in postseasonThe Rays are planning to use rookie relief pitcher Ryan Thomspon as the opener on Thursday. Thompson pitched two scoreless innings against New York in the Rays 9-3 loss on Monday. Thompson appeared in 25 games this season and was 1-2 with a 4.44 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, and one save. Thompson did not pitch more than two innings an any of his appearances. As a staff, Tampa Bay was third in MLB with a 3.56 ERA during the regular season and had a 3.80 ERA in their five playoff games.
The Rays have hit 12 home runs this postseason, second behind New York heading into Thursday. As a team, Tampa Bay is batting .256, led by Randy Arozarena, batting .600 with three home runs and four RBI. Arozarena had another big game on Wednesday, going 3 for 4 with a homer and two runs scored. The Rays got tremendous production for the No. 8 and 9 spots in their order with Kevin Kiermaier and Michael Perz both going 2 for 4 and driving in three runs in the win.
Montgomery to make postseason debut for YankeesWith their season on the line, the Yankees will turn to 27-year old southpaw Jordan Montgomery to start Game 4. During the regular season, Montgomery was 2-3 with a 5.11 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. The Rays hammered Montgomery for five hits, two homers, and four earned runs in just 2/3 of an inning the only time they saw him this season on September 2. In six career starts, Montgomery is 1-2 with a 5.14 ERA and 1.76 WHIP against Tampa Bay. He has never appeared in a postseason game before.
The Yankees are batting .276 with an MLB best 14 homers and 40 runs scored in their five postseason games. Five of the Yankees are batting at least .350 in the postseason, with Gleyber Torres leading the team at .412 AVG. Giancarlo Stanton has by far by the team's Most Valuable Player in the postseason. Stanton has a .368 batting average, six home runs, 13 RBI, and has homered in all five post-season games. Stanton battled with an injury during the regular season, allowing him to only play in 23 games, finishing the season with four home runs, 11 RBI, and a .250 batting average. Aaron Judge has the lowest average among the Yankees who have played in all five games at .130 (3 for 23), but he has hit two home runs.
The Yankees pitching staff has posted a 6.14 ERA in the postseason, the second-worst among the 16 teams that qualified. The Yankees ranked 14th during the regular season with a 4.35 ERA.
- Yankees are 2-9 in their last 11 games against the Rays
- Rays 8-1 in their last 9 games overall