The New York Yankees (19-16) and the Tampa Bay Rays (19-18) will continue their mid week three game series tonight at Tropicana Field. The Yankees opened the series with a 3-1 win Tuesday night over the Rays. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez both homered, while Jordan Montgomery struck out nine over seven innings to power the win. Last night’s game was not completed at press time, so the results and stats from that game are not included in this preview.
Coming into the series, the Yankees had won just one of the first six meetings with Tampa Bay (not counting last night). After the Yanks were swept in the second series, they went into a week-long free fall, but have recovered to challenge for one of the top spots in the AL East. Tonight, the Yankees have an opportunity to win another game with a favorable pitching matchup. New York will send ace Gerrit Cole to the bump, while the Rays will counter with lefty Josh Fleming.
Taillon Takes the Mound in Series FinaleJameson Taillon will make his seventh start of the season tonight against the Rays. He comes into tonight’s game with a 3.80 FIP and a 1.125 WHIP. Over 37.1 innings, Taillon has allowed 17 earned runs, four home runs, and 34 hits while walking eight and striking out 30 batters. He did not factor into the decision in his last start against Washington, when he allowed three earned runs and three hits over 6.1 innings. He walked one and struck out five in the game.
The Yankees bullpen has been solid this season, going 8-6 with nine saves, a 2.79 ERA, and a 1.023 WHIP. The relief corps has allowed 40 earned runs and 90 hits in 129 innings this season while issuing 42 walks and recording 155 strikeouts.
The Yankees lineup has slashed .223/.346/.389 with nine homers, 25 RBI, 35 walks, and 64 strikeouts over the past seven games. This season against left handers, the Yankees have slashed .265/.330/.468 with 18 home runs and 39 RBI. On the road, New York has hit .224/.317/.409 with 22 home runs and 53 RBI.
Aaron Hicks has been on a tear over the past seven games, slashing .429/.529/.500 with three RBI. Against southpaws, Aaron Judge leads the Yanks with a .346/.469/.692 slash line to go with his three home runs and five RBI. On the road, Giancarlo Stanton has slashed .300/.327/.500 with three home runs and seven RBI.
Rays Undecided on Starting PitcherAt press time, the Rays had yet to announce their starter for tonight’s game. Rich Hill’s turn in the rotation is up, but there is a chance that Josh Fleming will get the start. Either way, the Rays will trot out a left hander to face the dangerous Yankees lineup.
The Rays bullpen comes into tonight with a 12-8 record, 12 saves, a 3.98 ERA and a 1.274 WHIP. The relief corps has worked 157 innings, allowing 69 earned runs on 147 hits while walking 53 and striking out 144.
As a team, the Rays have slashed .210/.296/.351 with seven home runs, 25 RBI, 22 walks, and 67 strikeouts over the past seven days. Against right handed pitching, Tampa Bay has hit .222/.311/.370 with 23 homers and 99 RBI in 36 games. At home, the Rays have slashed .210/.290/.345 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI.
Individually, Brett Phillips leads the team in hitting with a .313/.353/.375 slash line and two RBI over the past seven days. Joey Wendle leads the team against righties with a .325/.368/.538 slash line with three home runs and 16 RBI. Manuel Margot has slashed .295/.340/.386 with two RBI at home this season.
- Tampa Bay: Rays are 4-0 in their last 4 during game 3 of a series.
- Tampa Bay: Rays are 5-1 in their last 6 home games with the total set at 11.0 or higher.
- New York: Yankees are 3-7 in their last 10 Thursday games.