The New York Yankees have clinched a spot in the play-in game. The only thing left to do is catch the Red Sox for the American League East. There’s a glimmer of hope that they can do it, but the Red Sox magic number is down to just 2 games. If they win 2 more games, regardless of what the Yanks do, the Red Sox clinch the division. Statistically the Yankees are alive, but better judgement would tell you that the Yankees will have to settle for the wildcard. By the looks of it, they’re going to have a date with the Twins at Yankee Stadium. Sorry Rays, the door has closed on your season.
Tampa made it interesting for a few minutes, but all they provided was a tease to Rays’ fans. There were several teams who all had a crack at the wildcard, but it’s looking clear now. I would have preferred the last day or two of the regular season to be wild in the American League. That’s looking improbable now, with the Twins closing in on getting a date with the Yankees in the Bronx. What a job by the Twins, though, going from a 103 loss team to potentially the postseason in just a year. The staff over in Minnesota deserve a lot of credit for getting them to this place in such a short amount of time.
The Yankees got by the Rays easily yesterday, a 6-1 win on Wednesday. They’ve gone 7-3 in their last ten games and are feeling pretty good as we enter the final week of the season. If the regular season is any indication, they should be able to make it past the play-in game. The Yankees have been dominant at home, sporting a record of 48-28. Anything can happen in a one-game format, though, and the Twins have proven their doubters wrong this season, why not one more time? Head below for our free Rays vs. Yankees pick, as the Rays look to finish things up and head on vacation, while the Yanks are gearing up for the postseason.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. N.Y. Yankees Pick
Jake Faria (5-4, 3.33 ERA) vs. Sonny Gray (10-11, 3.30 ERA)
Sonny Gray was traded for this time of the year. If the Yankees do not make a long push in the postseason the trade was a loss. The whole idea was bringing him in to bolster their rotation to make and go far in the postseason. Gray had a bad mark in 2016 but has come back in fine form. He had something bothering him, but he’s proving that it was more of a fluke than anything. He enters tonight with an ERA of 3.30 in 158 innings. Gray had one bad start against the Orioles two starts ago, but has been strong otherwise. In eight of his last ten starts, he’s allowed 2 or less runs.
First-year pitcher Jake Faria will get a start for the Rays tonight. He’s been excellent as a rookie, posting an ERA of 3.33 in thirteen starts. However, his last two appearances were in relief. Faria’s last couple of starts came on August 11th and the 16th, where he allowed 8 runs in total. In his last three appearances, he has a 4.67 ERA. Faria looks like he might have a future ahead of him, but I don’t know how much motivation there is for the Rays in this one. The Yankees should roll with their eyes set on bigger things in the near future.
PICK: YANKEES -1.5 (+110)