New York is set to play the second game of this three-game series, after falling 3-2 in defeat to the Rays at Tropicana Field. The Yankees lead in the American League East dropped to one game, while the Rays extended their winning streak to seven. “He made one mistake,” manager Joe Girardi said of Friday’s starting pitcher Phil Hughes. “He just didn’t get it where he wanted to.” The club is still a dominating 22-13 against division opponents (+440) with the total being 21-12 O/U in those contests. New York is also 31-21 on the road this season (+210), which is the second-best road winning mark in the Majors, behind only tonight’s opponent. The offense has scored 558 runs this season, which is the most in baseball, as the total is 52-46 O/U in their games this year. With the team being 18-7 this month, they have now had 18 consecutive winning Julys since 1993.
Yankees starting pitcher Javier Vazquez will be making his 19th start (20th appearance) of the season, going 9-7 with a 4.54 ERA. He has seen his monthly ERA decrease in each month since the start of the season, compiling a 2.77 ERA in 26 innings this month. He has gone 3-0 in four overall starts this month, allowing just eight runs and 20 hits. The right-hander is 5-4 with a 4.34 ERA in 11 road starts this year, allowing opposing hitters to hit for a combined .215 average. In 13 lifetime starts against the Rays, he is an even 5-5 with a 4.94 ERA. He faced Tampa at Tropicana Field on April 9, allowing a season-high eight runs in 5.2 innings.
Tampa Bay rewarded a sell out crowd with a one-run victory in Friday’s series opener against the first-place Yankees. This weekend marks the first time in club history that there will be three consecutive sellouts at Tropicana Field. The only other home game that sold out this season was Opening Day. The Rays are a dominating 26-13 this season versus the AL East (+1,040), which is third-best inter-division record in the majors. Tampa’s overall record of 73-137 against the Yankees is its worst mark against any AL opponent. Each team will look to cap off a great month, as the Rays are an MLB-best 19-6 in July (+1,090), with the total being an even 12-12 O/U in those contests. The club is also accustomed to very successful when playing on Saturday, posting a solid 13-4 record this year (+680) and 49-24 mark the last three seasons (+2,120).
Rays starting pitcher Matt Garza is 11-5 with a 4.06 ERA in 21 games (20 starts) this season and will be making his first appearance since tossing the franchise’s first no-hitter. The right-hander is 6-2 with a 3.61 ERA in 11 home outings (10 starts), managing to strikeout 50 batters and issue 22 walks in 62.1 frames. The Rays have won six of his last seven starts overall. He is a perfect 2-0 with a 3.96 ERA in five outings this month, after going 4-1 with a 6.83 ERA in five July starts. In nine career appearances (eight starts) against the Yankees, he stands at 1-3 with a 3.26 ERA, including a 0-1 mark and 2.08 ERA in four starts against them last year.
Bettors will find the Yankees being 17-4 in their last 21 games with the total set at 7.0-8.5 and a solid 10-3 in their last 13 road games overall. New York is just 3-7 in Vazquez’s last 10 road starts versus a team with a winning record. Tampa Bay is 42-28 against right-handed starters this season (-180), including a 17-4 mark in their last 21 chances.