RED HOT RAYS GO FOR THE KILL WITH FIRST PLACE ON THE LINE
While the Yankees were thumping the Boston Red Sox on a daily basis and admiring the headlines, the Tampa Rays were quietly building the momentum that brings us to this afternoon’s showdown in The Bronx. The upstart Rays have ripped off 9 wins in their last 10 games, ended New York’s home unbeaten streak — and home series win streak at 27 — and denied ace Gerrit Cole a victory in two starts. And they’re just getting warmed up.
With injuries, sloppy play and a prolonged hitting slump the Yankees could find themselves in a brawl with Baltimore for second place before you know it. It needs to stop today and The Big Maple needs to step up and tell Cole and Masahiro Tanaka “Hey, I gotcha”.
While the Rays will throw their bullpen at New York, starting with righty John Curtiss (1-0, 2.84 ERA, WHIP 0.79, 7Ks, $4,600) the Yankees will answer with James Paxton (1-1, 7.04 ERA, WHIP 1.63, $8,200), who’ll be making his 5th start of the season. He is 1-0 at The Stadium with a 6.75 ERA, and struck out 11 Rays in the Yankess 4-3 loss on August 9th. Paxton did not figure in that decision. One very encouraging sign was the near 95mph speed he hit in his last start, as velocity issues were a huge concern at the outset of this regular season.
DRAFTKINGS CONTEST : Lineup tips and player salaries are for the MLB $1K Quarter Jukebox, a 4-game ‘Classic’ rules contest starting at 1:05pm EST, 11:05am PT.
TV / RADIO : TV: YES, Radio: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280; Tampa TV: Fox Sports Sun; Radio: WDAE 620AM/95.3 FM
THE WISE GUYS : The oddsmakers were spot on last night, predicting the Rays win and this afternoon the Yankees are favored with a moneyline consensus of New York -142, Tampa +132. The Over/Under is 9.5.
BALLPARK CONDITIONS : The temperature at game-time will be 77° under sunny skies with winds blowing out to left field at 4mph. with 0% chance of rain. Humidity should be a managable 41%.
FAST FACTS : Tampa goes for the series sweep this afternoon in The Bronx.
- In their last 11 games, Tampa is 10-1 straight up.
- In their last 8 games against the Yankees, the Rays are 7-1 straight up.
- In their last 10 games at Yankee Stadium, the Rays are 3-7 straight up.
PREDICTION : The buck stops here. The Yankees will salvage the series finale, keep their hold on first place in the American League East — but the Rays will leave town thinking they are the better team … a chip that will ultimately need to be knocked off their shoulder.
We’re expecting at least 5 solid innings out of The Big Maple, Voit and Hicks go deep, and the bullpen steps up in light of Zack Britton going down.
In roster moves, Miguel Andujar was sent down, while right-handed pitchers Ben Heller and Miguel Yajure were called up.
Good luck with your daily fantasy baseball lineups, and let’s go Yankees!