The New York Yankees edged out the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday to earn their fourth win in a row. As predicted, the Yankees are leading the AL East now. The Rays jumped out early in the season without having to worry about a fully healthy Yankees team. However, the Yankees played better than expected to hang around, and now that they’re beginning to get some power hitters back in the lineup, the Yankees are going to be a tough out.
The Yankees are 0.5 games up on the Rays and 4.5 up on the Red Sox with a record of 27-16. It is going to be the Yankees’ division to lose. But don’t discount the Red Sox, as they’ve been playing better baseball lately.
C.C. Sabathia posted a solid outing yesterday, going 6 strong innings and allowing only 1 run. He made a mistake against Willey Adames, who drilled his second home run of the season against Sabathia. Other than that, it was a nice showing for Sabathia, who has really been pitching well in 2019. He is the x-factor who could carry the Yankees to places in the postseason.
Masahiro Tanaka is expected to perform at a high level on the bump. He is at a point in his career where he must play an elite role for the Yankees. Tanaka has shown flashes of greatness, but he has had injuries on and off during his career and hasn’t been as consistent as say a Verlander or Kershaw.
In nine starts this season, we’ve seen a little of everything from Tanaka. The good and the bad have been on display. Most recently, he was really good against the Rays. We’ll see if he can do it again. Head below for our free Rays vs. Yankees pick on Saturday afternoon.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. N.Y. Yankees Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Blake Snell, fresh off his Cy Young in 2018, has been pitching well but not up to his standards from last season. He flew under the radar playing on a bad team in the American League, but Snell was the deserving winner of the AL Cy Young. Along with Jacob deGrom, neither Cy Young winner from last season went to the postseason or were even much of a threat to do so.
The Rays are a better overall team this season, but they’re going to need Snell to find the stroke he had from 2018. The left-hander has looked good in spots, but hasn’t been as dominant as last season, at least not yet.
Snell enters with an ERA of 3.56 and a 4.80 ERA on the road. He was hammered against the Royals for 7 runs in 3 innings three starts ago, which is his worst outing in a long time. In his previous three appearances, Snell posted an ERA of 5.52 with a 1.09 WHIP.
The long ball has been giving him issues, as he’s given up 5 of them in his last three. In his latest start, he was beat by the Yankees for a 7-1 final. Snell best stay away from Gary Sanchez, who is hitting .364 with 3 home runs against him in 11 at-bats. The batting average as a team is way down for the Yankees against Snell, with a .183 but he’s given it all back with 8 home runs against.
Snell has been hittable this season. He isn’t the same machine who finished with an ERA of 1.89. At least not yet, because he could certainly find that same rhythm and catch fire, but he’s been inconsistent thus far. Tanaka is coming off a strong performance against the Rays. He gave up 5 hits and 1 run in 7 innings.
There wasn’t a single walk credited to him, too. He’s been efficient at home with an ERA of 3.03 in 29.2 innings. In his last three outings, Tanaka posted a 3.12 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. The Rays have been terrible playing at Yankee Stadium where they are just 8-23 in the last 31 meetings. Additionally, the Rays have gone 1-7 in the Bronx in Snell’s last eight appearance here. There seems to be some value on the Yankees catching a nice price on Saturday afternoon.