The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays will be concluding a three game series on Sunday night, in what will be their fourth series of the season. The Yankees have a 6-4 lead in the 10 games they have played this season, and will try to improve on that record, and regain control of the AL East.
New York Yankees (42-37) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (42-39), Sunday, July 5, 1:05 PM. ET
The Yankees and Rays are separated by one game in the AL East standings, so the winner of this series has a chance to move back into first place in the division, if the Baltimore Orioles lose a couple of games over the weekend.
The Yankees will be sending C.C. Sabathia to the mound, while the Rays will start Erasmo Ramirez.
C.C. Sabathia has struggled all season long, and doesn't look like the dominant pitcher he used to be. He is 3-8 for the year, with a 5.59 ERA, with 83 strikeouts and 18 walks. In the past month, he has one win and one loss, with three no decisions. He has allowed 17 runs in his last four home games, but has lost only one of those starts. The Yankees are hoping he will be able to give them a quality start, and help them defeat their division rivals.
Erasmo Ramirez has fared much better than his counterpart this season, he has a 6-3 record, with a 4.01 ERA in 11 starts this season. He also has 58 strikeouts and 22 walks so far. Ramirez has been on a very good run lately, winning four of his last six starts, with one loss and one no decision. He has been even more impressive on the road, going 3-0 in his last five road starts, with two no decisions. He has allowed only four runs in his last seven road starts, and will make things hard for the Yankee offense.
Team vs Team Matchup:
The Yankees are 1-4 in their last four games, but they are fortunate to still be 0.5 games behind the division leading Baltimore Orioles. They have been one of the best offensive teams in baseball this season, and are in the top ten in a lot of the major offensive categories, but their pitching staff has held them back at times this season. Their pitching rotation has a 4.03 ERA, which is 21st in the league, and they will need to find a way to start limiting opponents to less runs per game, if they intend to win the division this season.
The Rays are on a five game losing streak, which dropped them out of the top spot in the division. Prior to that, they had lost four of their last six games, so they haven't been playing very well lately. Their strength is in their pitching rotation, which is one of the best in MLB, and rank in the top five in the major pitching statistics, but their hitting is one of the worst, which is why they have struggled a lot this season.
My Pick: The Rays have the better pitching matchup, but the Yankees are a very good hitting team, especially at home, so I’m putting my money on the Yankees to win.