The first place New York Yankees will be taking on the Tampa Bay Rays today again at Yankee Stadium. This will be game two of the three game series, with the Yankees sporting a 3-1 record against the Rays so far this season. Last night Tampa Bay had a 3-1 lead going into the ninth and they brought in Jose Alverado to try and close it out. However, Alverado immediately gave up a home run to Luke Voit, and then would later give up two more runs to blow the save. New York won its fourth straight and improved to 9-2 in its last 11 games when Gio Urshela hit a two-out, walk-off single.
Today, Masahiro Tanaka will take the hill for the Yankees while 2018 Cy Young winner Blake Snell will pitch for the visiting Tampa. Both pitchers faced off against each other last week, and Tanaka had his best outing of the season. Tanaka threw seven innings of one-run ball and had 10 swinging strikes on 73 pitches. Snell also put together a solid performance last time against the Yankees, striking out 12 in 5.2 innings and only giving up two runs.
Tampa has a 26-16 record this season and fell a half game behind the 27-16 Yankees in the AL East with last night’s loss. Tampa could tie the standings with a win today.
TV Section: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays, 5/18/19 1:05 PM ET Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, TV: New York (YES), Tampa Bay Rays (SUN) – Radio: New York (101.9 The Fan), Tampa (95.3 WDAE)
Masahiro Tanaka has struggled finding consistency with his split-fingered fastball at times this season. He threw it nine times with one swing and a miss May 7 against Seattle, but threw it 27 times last Sunday against Tampa. After that game he told an interpreter “The splitter, I think it’s starting to come back,” later adding “I don’t think it was my best, but I think it was better.” His win over Tampa ended a skid that saw him lose three of his previous four decisions. Against Tampa, he allowed a run, five hits, 7 strikeouts on 73 pitches.
Hitting wise the Yankees had home runs from Luke Voit and Kendrys Morales last night and have received great contributions from them Urshela and others. The Yankees are 37-14 in their last 51 Saturday games and 7-3 in their last 10 in game two of a series.
1. DJ LeMahieu
2. Luke Voit
3. Aaron Hicks
4. Gary Sanchez
5. Gleyber Torres
6. Giovanny Urshela
7. Cameron Maybin
8. Austin Romine
9. Brett Gardner
Blake Snell retired the first nine hitters and had seven strikeouts when he faced the Yankees last Sunday. He finished his outing with 12 strikeouts which is tied for the third-highest total of his career. Snell threw 96 pitches and lasted only 5 2/3 innings, and three of the four hits he allowed came with two outs in the fifth. Those being a double allowed to Austin Romine followed by an RBI double to Mike Tauchman and a run-scoring single to DJ LeMahieu. Yankees manager Aaron Boone was impressed by Snell saying “Snell had all his pitches and was able to strike with his breaking ball, his changeup was good, and he had the chase breaking ball. He was pitching like the Cy Young Award winner.”
In Snell’s career, he’s failed to get past the sixth inning against the Yankees and is 3-5 with a 4.25 ERA in his 12 starts against them, allowing three runs or fewer in nine of those outings. In the Bronx, Snell is 1-4 with a 5.63 ERA in eight starts and won his last start there on Aug. 16. In that game he pitched five scoreless innings and held the Yankees to two hits of a 3-1 win.
Despite having a 3.56 ERA so far on the season, the 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Snell might be even more dangerous this season than last when he won AL CY Young award. He’s improved his strikeout and walk rates and has generated more soft contact than last year. If it weren’t for two bad starts, Snell’s stat line could be on par with his numbers from last season.
1. Austin Meadows
2. Tommy Pham
3. Ji-Man Choi
4. Yandy Diaz
5. Brandon Lowe
6. Avisail Garcia
7. Kevin Kiermaier
8. Willy Adames
9. Erik Kratz
Yankees vs Rays Betting Odds
The line is currently set at Yankees -102 Rays -108. Tampa Bay should be extra motivated after a tough walk-off loss. Snell should be continue his success he’s had against the Yankees and I believe this should be a pretty fun game to watch. However, I believe Tanaka will keep it going for the Yankees as they’re 6-0 in Tanaka’s last six Saturday starts, and 35-17 in his last 52 home starts.
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