New York Yankees: Tampa Bay Rays series preview (update)

New York Yankees, Nick Nelson

The New York Yankees will meet up with the Tampa Bay Rays tonight at 7:05 pm for their second series between the two teams that really don’t like each other, this time at Yankee Stadium.  The dislike between these two teams has been building for the last few years, and there is no reason to believe that will be going away any time soon. During the last meeting at the Trop, Yankee pitchers hit several Rays without any retaliation in those three games. They may think that our pitchers stink, and it wasn’t on purpose.

If they think our pitchers stink, they have good reason too, if your name isn’t Gerrit Cole or Jordan Montgomery, the moniker applies to you. So far in the young season, Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, and Domingo German have fared quite poorly. Luckily the bullpen has been nearly perfect. It is anyone’s guess how long that will last if they continue to be overused.

Going into spring training, the Yankees thought their major competitor this season would be the Toronto Blue Jays as the Tampa Bay Rays seemed to be greatly diminished after trading their Ace Blake Snell to the Padres and letting Charlie Morton walk to the Braves. However, it now appears the Yankees will have their hands full with both teams. Tyler Glasnow has emerged as the new Ray’s ace. This season, in his first three starts, he is pitching better than Snell ever did. He has an ERA of .046.

Game one today:

Tonight a yet-to-be-named New York Yankee pitcher will face the Tampa Bay Rays’ Michael Wacha. That may be good news for the Yankees because he is the only Ray pitcher that did not pitch well against the Yankees. In his first appearance, he gave up three runs in four innings of work.

This week the Yankees optioned Albert Abreu to Scranton without making a corresponding move. It would seem likely that they will bring up Michael King to at least start tonight’s game. King came in relief of Domingo German when he bombed against the Blue Jays and pitched six solid shut-out innings in the Yankee win. However, the Yankees have other options for tonight’s game, including Deivi Garcia.

The Yankees will be celebrating Jackie Robinson Day tonight. The game tonight will be at 7:05 pm and will be broadcast on Bally Sports Sun in Florida and the New York area on the YES Network. The game will also be on MLBN out of market.

UPDATE: In a last-minute move the Yankees are starting Nick Nelson tonight. The start is quite surprising as he has been the worst Yankee reliever giving up 5 earned runs in 3 games and 4 innings pitched.

Game two Saturday:

Game two will feature the Yankees’ Jordan Montgomery against a yet-to-be-announced Rays Pitcher. Montgomery in his first outing against Baltimore was impressive, but in his last outing against the Rays, he did not fare as well; he gave up four runs in 5 innings of work. He also had the distinction of bonking Austin Meadows twice in the same game, causing the umpires to warn both sides.

The likely starter for the Rays is Tyler Glasnow, the Yankee killer. The Yankees did not fare well against him last season, and so far this year, his ERA is .046. He typically throws a 100 mph fastball and a knee-buckling curveball, and that’s not the end of his pitching arsenal. If it is Glasnow, the Yankees will have their hands full, especially if Montgomery is not at his best.

The Saturday matinee will be at 1:05 pm and will be broadcast on Bally Sports Sun in Florida and the New York area on the YES Network. The game will also be on MLBN out of market.

Game three Sunday:

Sunday will be the best chance for a New York Yankee win. Ace Gerrit Cole will be on the mound. He will face another yet-to-be-announced Rays starter. Although not official, it will probably be Ryan Yarbrough who will give the Yankees a totally different look. Yarbrough is a junk baller whose fastball might reach 88 miles per hour. However, he is a premium soft contact pitcher.

Gerrit Cole has been near brilliant in his three starts. He is 2-0 with an ERA of 1.47. Cole is also the only Yankee pitcher that has been friendly to the bullpen by pitching over an average of six innings in his three starts.

The 1:05 pm Sunday game will be televised in Florida on Bally Sports Sun in the New York area on WPIX and in CT on CW20. The game will also be free to Amazon Prime members in CT, NY, NJ, and eastern PA.

Series predictions:

Today’s game between a Yankee opener and the Ray’s Wacha, it’s a toss-up who might win the contest. On Saturday, the Yankee’s hitting better be alive, or they will have no chance against Glasnow. With Cole on the mound on Sunday, the Yankees will have their best of a win. Although the Yankees would like to sweep the Rays, they will likely be thrilled to win 2 out of 3.

All pitchers are probable. EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam

 

 

MLB News: The Los Angeles Dodgers/Tampa Bay Rays World Series gets underway tonight

With the New York Yankees out of MLB and licking their wounds along with the Houston Astros, many fans are still interested in the Fall Classic. Those interested want to see close games with a series that goes the full seven games, with outstanding pitching and long ball heroes. I can’t promise you any of these things, but for sure, it will be an exciting series with two teams that are very energized.

The Tampa Bay Rays haven’t been to the World Series since 2008, and the Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since 1988. The game tonight will be almost freaky as the cameras pan around, and you see and hear the cheers, and moans of real fans in the stands, albeit limited.

Tonight’s game and all the World Series games will be at the brand new Globe Life Field, the home of the Texas Rangers, in Arlington, Texas. The game time will be 8:09 pm, and the game-time temperature will be about  80 degrees and will stay in the upper ’70s throughout the game. The skies will be clear, and a perfect night for baseball in the open Globe Life Field. The game will be broadcast on the Fox Network.

First out on the mound will be pitching ace Clayton Kershaw as the first two games, the Dodgers will be the home team. Kershaw on the year was 6-2 with an ERA of 2.16. In the postseason, he was 2-1 with an ERA of 3.32. Kershaw is a seasoned veteran in the World Series with four starts in his career and one relief appearance. Kershaw relies mainly on a slider and a low ’90s four-seam fastball with some backspin. The 32-year-old, 6′ 4″ 225 pounder has re-invented his pitching in the last two years by adding a changeup to his repertoire.

The Tampa Bay Rays will start their strike-throwing Tyler Glasnow, who has pretty much cemented his place as the Rays ace over Blake Snell. Glasnow won his Wild Card Game against the Blue Jays, beat the New York Yankees on October 6, but lost his short rest to the Yankees on the 9th even though he didn’t have an earned run. In his last outing against the Houston Astros, he lost, giving up four runs in six innings.

Glasnow’s shortcoming is that he is basically a two-pitch pitcher; he throws a high ’90s four-seamer and a mid-’80s curveball.  He rarely throws a change-up. Despite being a two-pitch pitcher, he had 91 strikeouts in the regular season and had the fourth-most strikeouts in all of the baseball’s postseason with 25K’s.

I give the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kershaw the edge in Game 1.

 

New York Yankees Postseason Preview: Will the Yankees have a ALCS Astros rematch? We find out tonight

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, Jose Altuve

Tonight, the New York Yankees will have a game for the ages! Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it will be a game that no New York Yankee fan will want to miss. Multiple storylines are going into tonight’s game, from pitchers starting on just two days rest, to settling the question of who is best, the New York Yankees or the Tampa Bay Rays. Lingering in the background is what could be the biggest baseball story of the season. If the Yankees win tonight, it will cause a matchup of the 2019 ACLS, with the Yankees meeting up again with the cheating Houston Astros that won their ALDS last night.

Facing elimination last night, the New York Yankees rallied to win a big one 5-1. The game featured good pitching and home runs by Luke Voit and Gleyber Torres. Last night, the Yankee team looked like the team that went on long winning stretches during the regular season. Both Yankee wins in the ALDS was with Kyle Higashioka behind at backstop. Higashioka has become a bit of a lucky charm for the Yankees. In contrast, the Yankees have benched the poor hitting Gary Sanchez, and Higashioka will certainly be behind the plate tonight.

The ALDS will switch back to the Tampa Bay Rays’ home-field advantage in this final game of the series.  Both teams tonight, being out of dependable starters will start pitchers on short rest.

In a desperate move, the Tampa Bay Rays will start Tyler Glasnow in just two days rest.  Glasnow has a devastating fastball, but how effective that pitch will be on just two days rest will be interesting to see.  Glasnow was 5-1 on the regular season with an ERA of 4.08 with 91 strikeouts.  In the postseason, he won his start in the Wild Card by beating the Toronto Blue Jays. In his start in the ALDS, he beat the Yankees and J.A. Happ in the second game of the ALDS 7-5. Glasnow, in his career, has never started a game on short rest.

The New York Yankee’s seasoned ace Gerrit Cole will also start on short rest, but Cole hasn’t pitched since Monday.  Cole, on the regular season, was 7-3 with an ERA of 2.84 with 94 strikeouts.  So far, in the postseason, he has won both of his starts, garnering a 3.46 ERA.  He won his start against the Cleveland Indians 12-3 while striking out a record 13 in seven innings of work. On Monday, he went six innings in the Yankee 9-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

With both pitchers pitching on short rest, both teams’ bullpens may be the deciding factor in who wins this last elimination game.  Both teams yesterday used few relievers in preparation for the possible need tonight. Last night the Yankees used Chad Green and Zack Britton. The Rays used only Ryan Yarborough and Aaron Slegers.  Yarborough went five innings, so it is doubtful that he will be available.  For the Yankees, everyone will be available, although they will avoid using Green and Britton unless absolutely necessary.

In a winner take all game, you may see starters come in in relief.  The Yankees Deivi Garcia will be available, and for the Rays, Blake Snell will also be in the bullpen.

If the New York Yankees can pull out a win tonight, they will go on to the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, presenting an interesting storyline. The Yankees lost to the Astros in last year’s ALCS in the six-game of the series. They won when the Yankees believe Jose Altuve knew what pitch was coming from Aroldis Chapman. After the Series, MLB proved that the Astros cheated electronically in the 2017 postseason.  The Yankees also lost to the Astros in that ALCS.

In a bit of luck, if the Astros face the Yankee’s whey will do it without fans in the stands at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.  If fans were allowed in the stands, every Yankee fan that could afford to be there would be in the stands booing the Astros at every move.  But first, the Yankees have to win tonight. Every stop will be out, as the Yankees were reenergized after the huge win last night.

 

 

New York Yankees: Looking Forward to the Final Road Trip of the Regular Season

New York Yankees, Yankees, Luke voit

The New York Yankees, already clinching the division and home-field advantage in the ALDS, travel to Tampa and Texas for the final six games of the season. This when the team has to bear down and take it one win at a time.

The first order of business, the Tampa Bay Rays. They are going to do everything in their power to win both games of the two-game set. With Glasnow and Snell coming back off injury, expect to see them at a point during this series. The one-hitter Yankees’ pitchers must be careful with is Austin Meadows. He is hitting .289, with 32 home runs, and 88 RBIs (MLB.com). The Rays have a balanced lineup, mixed with some underrated power and line-drive hitters. This could be a trap series for the team from the Bronx.

Next on the list, the Texas Rangers. The weekend series will set the tone for the Yankees heading into the postseason. Hitters will most likely face Lance Lynn and Mike Minor near the end of the series.  Lynn had a career-best ERA to start the year but fell off in the second half.  Minor helped shutout the Yankees, at home, for the first time in over a year. Beating both of these pitchers should boost the lineup’s confidence heading into the postseason.

Why is this final road trip so important?

The Yankees are currently two games behind the Astros in the loss column, for home-field advantage. They have the tiebreaker which would make it three games. This implies the Yankees must go at least four out of five to stay in the competition for home field. They will have to hope the Mariners and Angels can win at least three of the six games.

As of now, the Yankees will host the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS. This series would be a rematch of the epic 2017 AL Wild Card game. The Twins rotation will most likely consist of Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, and Kyle Gibson. All of them have double-digit wins on the year. The Yankees play much better at home in the playoffs but will have to prove themselves at Target Field, to ultimately get a chance to play in the World Series.

The New York Yankees will get a chance to redeem themselves for losing to the Astros in seven games in the 2017 ALCS. As of late, the Yankees have proven they have a good enough rotation and very intimidating lineup to make it there. Let’s see how they do the second time around.