The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees play in a rubber match of their weekend series at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees dropped a 3-2 decision to the Rays yesterday, following a 6-1 run. They are in a heated battle with the Blue Jays for the AL East. David Price got the better of the Baltimore Orioles yesterday to give the Blue Jays the edge on the day with the Yanks losing. The Yankees haven’t been playing bad baseball though, it’s just the Blue Jays keep winning and aren’t hitting that infamous wall that seems to creep up on teams this time of year. It never fails for some teams, but the Jays are avoiding that for now. And so are the Yankees, which makes for a very good race between these two teams. It is going to come down to who stays hot for the next few weeks. I think a lot of people thought the Blue Jays were going to cool down, but nope, they keep on winning and are a very good team. They certainly aren’t a flash in the pan.
The Yankees probably thought the Jays would cool down as well, if they did then the Yanks would be in the driver seat right now. They didn’t though, and the Jays still hold on to a slim lead in the division. The Yankees’ offense is just so hot and cold, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in their case. They have routinely put up monster offensive outputs, scoring 10+ runs fairly easily on some nights. You can’t expect them to do that every night, so the Yankees hot is hotter than any team you’ll find. They face a hot pitcher today against the Rays. Will Chris Archer be able to take two of three from the Yankees today? The Yanks respond with Ivan Nova, who has been anything but hot.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. N.Y. Yankees
Chris Archer (12-10, 2.78 ERA) vs. Ivan Nova (5-7, 4.50 ERA)
In a lot of respects, the Yankees have to be frustrated with Ivan Nova. He is a pitcher that had plenty of potential there, but he hasn’t exactly been a model pitcher for the Yankees. I think there was a period of waiting for him to see if he could reach an elite level, but that time has passed and Nova isn’t going to get any better. He is just a rotation stuffer at this point in his career. If he has a strong start once in awhile then that is about all you can ask from him. He has had a tough go of it lately, getting blasted for a 7.80 ERA in his last three starts. He also holds a dismal 1.80 WHIP over those starts. There is good Nova, then there is really bad Nova. Right now we are seeing really bad Nova.
It isn’t that the Rays are a bad team, they just can’t get over the hump. Stuck at around .500 all season long, the Rays have been in flux for the majority of the season. They are still technically in the hunt for a wildcard, but we’ve been saying that for a long time now.
When I see a pick where I feel there is value to be had I like playing it. -130 doesn’t look like excellent value, but if you factor in who is pitching for the Rays, then it looks better. Archer has been hot with a 1.71 ERA and 0.90 WHIP his last three starts. Nova has been great pitching on the road with a 2.71 ERA. He hasn’t allowed a run on the road in his last two starts. There isn’t anything I am really in love with on this card today, so keep that in mind. I’m not going to lay mortgage payments on this game or anything, but I do think the Rays come out with a victory on the road.