New York Yankees (50-23) at Tampa Bay Rays (35-40)
When and Where: Sunday, June 24, Tampa Bay, Florida, 1:10 P.M. EST
The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays will wrap up their three game series this Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field. The Yankees are in first place in the AL East despite having one less with than the Red Sox. They are one game ahead of the hard charging Boston team. The Rays remain in third place and are 16 games behind the first place Yankees.
Yankees continue to fend of Boston
The Yankees are hot once again and have become the second team in baseball to reach the 50 win mark on the season. New York has won seven of their last 10 games and does not mind playing on the road where they are 21-12. Aaron Judge leads the charge in recent games with at least one RBI in each of his last four games. On the season, he is hitting .282 with 18 doubles, 19 home runs, and 51 RBI. It seems he gets into a 3-2 count every time he is at the plate which has led to 100 strikeouts but also 52 walks, pushing his on base percentage to .399. After Judge, the Yankees have six more players with over 30 RBI, providing plenty of offensive support.
The Yankees are expected to put Domingo German on the mound this Sunday to make the start in Tampa. He has spent some time in the bullpen recently but with Tanaka on the DL, he was forced back into the rotation. German is 2-4 on the season with a 4.77 ERA and picked up both of those wins in his last two starts. German has thrown 13 innings, allowing four total runs in his last two games. The Yankees bullpen is led by their lights-out closer, Aroldis Chapman who has converted 22 saves and holds an ERA of just 1.07. He has only allowed three hits in all of June.
Rays pitching gives them life
The Tampa Bay Rays are not looking like a playoff team by any stretch this season but they are seeing a lot of progress from a lot of new faces in their lineup. Unlike the Yankees, the Tampa offense only has two players over the 30 RBI mark. One of them is CJ Cron who came over from the Angels this off-season. Cron has 16 home runs and 36 RBI on the season and is the only player with 10 or more home runs. To compare, the Yankees have seven. Catcher, Wilson Ramos is the other man above the 30 RBI mark in his second year with the team. Ramos is batting .296 and has hit nine home runs for 36 RBI in just 60 games.
Lefty, Blake Snell is scheduled to make the home start for the Rays this Sunday afternoon. He has been outstanding this year with a 9-4 record and 2.48 ERA. In June, Snell gave up more than one run on just one occasion. His last time out, he gave up just one run on three hits in seven innings but walked seven batters. In the bullpen, the Rays have Jose Alvarado who has seen action in 32 games and holds a 2.87 ERA. he pitched 1.1 hitless innings in the series opener against this Yankees team. Ryne Stanek is also being utilized more lately, with a 2.11 ERA in his 18 trips to the mound.
- 8-3 in last 11 road games
- 10-4 in last 14 games vs. losing teams
- 1-5 in last six games vs. right-handed starters
- 3-9 in last 12 Sunday games
The Yankees obviously have some health problems in their rotation that could hold them back, but German has looked like an entirely new pitcher since taking some time in the bullpen. He is 2-0 since being reintroduced into the rotation and could settle into a regular spot. The Rays are sending their best in terms of pitching in Snell but it may not be enough against this powerful Yankees offense. If German was still struggling, the Rays might have the edge, but with his confidence growing, the Yankees should get a win.