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It’s the middle contest of a three-game tilt at Citi Field and the Bronx Bombers are looking to secure their fifth straight series win with a victory tonight. They gained a half-game on the idle Red Sox last night, and need to keep playing well.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017 @ Tampa Rays (kinda)
Key Stats At-A-Glance
Money Line : Rays +134, Yankees -144
Over/Under : 8
Line Moves : Late ducats coming in on New York
The Ballpark : Citi Field leans toward being more of a pitcher’s park.
Gametime Weather : 70°, sunny, Wind WSW 6 MPH, 0% chance of rain.
• The Yankees are 5-1 straight up in their last 6 games against Tampa Bay.
• The Over/Under total as gone Over in 6 of the 7 games between these teams.
• Gary Sanchez is raking — .393, 2 HR, 6 RBI over his last 7 games.
• Starlin Castro is on a 0-10 skid over his last two games.
Blake Snell : The left-handed Snell was selected by Tampa in the first round of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft, and made his MLB debut April 23, 2016 in a spot start against the Yankees. The Bombers won the game on a Brett Gardner walkoff, but Snell showed why he was one of MLB’s highest rated prospects at the time.
So far, 2017 has not been kind to Snell, as after 8 starts he was sent down to AAA, then recalled in late June, but his command issues persist.
Snell relies primarily on a four-seam fastball which tops out around 94-97MPH — which he likes to work up in the zone with, a changeup, slider and nice curveball (around 80MPH). His curveball has a nasty 12 to 6 vertical drop and results in a lot of swings and misses.
He enters tonight’s contest with a 3-6, 4.36 ERA and 1.399 WHIP mark after 20 starts.
In two starts against the Yankees, he has held the Bronx bats in check, allowing only 8 hits over 44 plate appearances for a .211 team BA. Funny how everyone with command problems seem to figure it out against the Yankees, usually just for that one start. Drives you nuts.
Tonight’s outcome against Snell will depend on the Yankees plate discipline. Gary Sanchez, Chase Headley and Jacoby Ellsbury have shown good eyes lately and are worth considering. Also Aaron Judge — if can lay off the curveball and the slider, one mistake on the fastball by Snell and that ball will not be found.
Sonny Gray The Tampa Rays have not been a easy mark for Gray, who has allowed 9 home runs in 36 innings over six starts. Those numbers are split between Oakland and The Tropicana (where he fared much better — a 1.93 ERA over three starts since 2014).
Hitters to Consider (Or Not)
- Aaron Judge ($5,200) : If he keeps on working counts, Judge has the potential for a big night, but Snell may try to work the corners and make Judge bite on fastballs up the ladder.
- Gary Sanchez ($4,800) : The Kracken is 3 for 6 against Snell with two home runs, the only Yankee on the current roster who’s taken him deep.
- Chase Headley ($3,500) : While a small sample size, Headley is 3 for 10 versus Snell but has been seeing the ball well in general lately. And getting big hits when they’re needed.
- Sir Didi Gregorius ($4,200) : Didi has no fear of lefties, and one hanger from Snell could result in a rocket from the shortstop.
- Evan Longoria ($3,200) : Longoria currently holds the best numbers on the Rays against Gray, going 10 for 26 (.385) with 1 home runs and a 1.061 OPS.
THE FINE PRINT : The fantasy lineup suggestions are purely speculation and should not be taken as gospel. Anything can and will happen in a baseball game, but this content is designed to provide a starting point for your lineup research. Best of luck, and let’s go Yankees!