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Second Half Yankees : 2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

The New York Yankees host the Tampa Bay Rays

Since the 2018 Boston Massacre, the Yankees are 7-2. After dropping a stinker to the Mets on Monday, they got back on track last night with a 4-1 victory over Tampa.
It’s one thing to lose to Jacob deGrom. It’s another thing to actually score enough runs off him to win, but have the pitching go south on you. Five home runs by Mets hitters? Yeesh. Yet another opportunity wasted — the Yankees are a full 10 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East, and their lead for the top Wild Card slot over the Oakland A’s has been cut to 3.5 games.
The A’s are starting to put some daylight between themselves and the Mariners for the second AL Wild Card slot. The holiday weekend series in Oaktown on September 3, 4 and 5 might very well decide who hosts the play-in game. The Yankees simply cannot afford to blow this lead. If they’re the visitors, odds are they’re done.

Jake Faria vs The Yankees

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The current Yankees roster has only 18 at-bats in the books against second year right-hander Jake Faria (4-3, 4.97 ERA, $6,100). Out of the 5 collective hits against him, three were home runs — by outfielders Brett Gardner ($4,200) and Aaron Judge (on the DL), and utility-man extraordinaire Ronald Torreyes ($2,800) — who is the recommended value pick of the night.
After missing time on the DL (oblique strain) and a stint in the bullpen, Faria returns to a starting role tonight. He’s had 2 career starts against the Yankees without figuring in a decision, pitching to a 6.43 ERA over a total of 7 innings. Look for New York’s hot hitters — Miguel Andujar ($4,700), Neil Walker ($3,600) and Aaron Hicks ($4,700) to rank up some points tonight.

Luis Cessa vs The Rays

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The Yankees have called up Luis Cessa (1-2, 4.50 ERA, $6,200) to start tonight’s game. In 2 appearances against the Rays in 2018, Cessa has pitched well, allowing 2 earned runs and 4 hits over 7.1 innings with 5 strikeouts. He was the victim of no run support in a 3-2 loss at Tropicana Field on July 25th. Of all active Rays, only Kevin Kiermaier and Carlos Gomez have taken Cessa deep.

The Wise Guys

While the Yankees cannot win at Tropicana Field in Tampa, at least they return the favor in The Bronx, where the Rays are 1-6 in the last 7 matchups here. The over/under for tonight’s game is 9, and 5 of the last 6 Rays vs Yankees contests in Yankee Stadium have gone under. Tampa is 16-22 as a road underdog, while the Yankees are 41-16 as a home favorite straight up.
Remember this is for speculation only, not meant to be taken as gospel. And don’t forget to double-check your lineup(s) just prior to game time as the weather may create havoc for you. We exist under the manta that “You can’t predict baseball” but it’s fun trying. Good luck with your lineup and let’s go Yankees!

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