So here we are, it’s the last game of Alex Rodriguez’s career, allegedly. A-Rod has hit 696 home runs in his career, 4 short of 700 and 18 behind Barry Bonds on the all-time list. If Alex Rodriguez doesn’t appear with another team in the future, it’ll end like that for A-Rod. The Yankees were getting tired of Rodriguez, and what they did is force him out in a way.
I don’t believe this decision was made by A-Rod and A-Rod alone. He wanted to play 3rd base in his final game, but Joe Girardi put the brakes on that idea. I’m sure Rodriguez loved that exchange.
Also, when he was questioned about talking to Derek Jeter, he kind of deflected the question and didn’t go very far into it. Yeah, between steroids and this drama with the Yankees, this isn’t exactly how a guy 4th on the all-time home run list, and all-around iconic player wanted to go out. Barry Bonds’ career went out on a whimper because of his steroid use, and A-Rod is on deck for the same.
Rodriguez will play his last game against Chris Archer and the Tampa Bay Rays in front of the home crowd. I’m sure, there are going to be people who are there in the grandstands in the outfield waiting for Rodriguez last deep ball. With the Yankees at 58-56 and in need of a wildcard to make the postseason, this is an important weekend series for them.
It goes without saying that a lot of good things would have to go their way, including several other teams to collapse. They took a win off the Red Sox yesterday, who are another team searching for wins, 3 games back of the American League East lead. Let’s see what magic A-Rod has left tonight at Yankee Stadium.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. N.Y. Yankees
Chris Archer (6-15, 4.26 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (6-9, 4.18 ERA)
Archer has not played the pivotal role the Rays were hoping for this season. A consistent pitcher throughout his first few years, he hit a setback in 2016, it goes without saying. Would it have made a difference if he was hitting his stride and had a 2.00 ERA? From a team perspective, no, because the Rays are 46-67 and not even Archer playing at an elite level would have saved their season. A long ways from April, where it was believed the Rays might be a sleeper contender. Nope, it’s been the same old Rays here in 2016.
Archer has been particularly bad on the road, which has skewed his ERA up significantly. He owns a 2.91 ERA at home, but on the road he has a 5.83 ERA. Although, Archer has been great against the Yanks, posting a 2.13 ERA and 0.92 WHIP against them. He also has looked good recently, with a 2.21 ERA and 0.84 WHIP in his last three starts, including a strong start on the road against the Dodgers. His last two outings on the road resulted in 2 and 1 runs allowed, so he’s looked much better in that respect.
Conversely, Sabathia has been just trying to keep things together. Entering with an ERA of 4.18, he’s exceeded expectations. However, his numbers look decent thanks to the first-half of the season, where he was looking really good. In seven of his last ten starts, he’s allowed 4 or more runs. Sabathia pitched for a 5.00 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in his last three starts. He has also been better on the road, as he has a 3.68 ERA compared to a 4.82 ERA at home. I see everyone jumping on the Yankees because this is A-Rod’s last game. Archer isn’t going to be grooving pitches for Rodriguez or anything, he’s not a likable player. The public is on the Yankees, yet the price is not moving in their direction. This should be a mismatch on the mound, with the Rays picking up a consolation prize in Alex Rodriguez’s final game.
PICK: RAYS TO WIN -116