MLB Preview – New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays
New York -133
Tampa Bay +113
The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays square-off tonight in the first of a four-game American League East showdown at Tropicana Field. Game time is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
New York pounded out a 7-2 victory over Toronto on Sunday as a 118 road favorite to salvage a 2-2 split in the four-game weekend series. It was just the Yankees’ fifth win in their last 10 games, but kept them just 1.5 games behind Boston in the division. They are now 55-37 overall; 30-19 at home and 25-18 on the road.
Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson continue to be the biggest bats this season in a powerful New York lineup that is ranked second in the AL in scoring with an average of 5.15 runs a game. These two have combined 134 RBI and 50 home runs so far this year. It is A.J. Burnett’s turn in the rotation tonight. He is 8-7 with a 4.15 ERA in 19 previous starts. Recently, Burnett has given up an average of 5.28 earned runs in his last seven starts. He is 12-8 against the Rays lifetime, with an ERA of 3.41.
Tampa Bay is in serious danger of slipping out of the AL East race with six losses in its last 10 games including a brutal 1-0 setback to Boston in 16 innings on Sunday night as a 129 home underdog. The Rays now trail the Red Sox by a full seven games with an overall record of 50-43. They are 28-20 on the road this season and 22-23 at home.
Consistent production at the plate has been an issue for Tampa Bay not only this season, but this past month as well. It is ranked 12th in the AL in hitting with a .244 team batting average and eighth in runs scored with 394. Alex Cobb has been called up from Triple-A Durham to fill in for the injured Wade Davis in the starting rotation. He will make his six start of the season tonight after going 2-0 with a 3.41 ERA in five previous appearances for the Rays.
Head-to-head this year, the Yankees split two games at Tropicana Field in mid-May and hold a 3-2 edge overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in three of the five games. Look for the Yankees to widen the edge with a win tonight as Tampa By succumbs to the effects of Sunday night’s marathon loss.
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