Ryan Thompson (1-2, 4.12 ERA) vs. Jordan Montgomery (2-3, 5.11 ERA)
The New York Yankees are down to a must-win situation on Thursday night in San Diego in Game 4. The Tampa Bay Rays impressively took down the Yankees by a score of 8-4 last night at Petco Park. Is it time for people to start taking the Rays seriously? Most have by now, but there’s a segment of the public that thought the Yankees were going to walk over the Rays in the ALDS. Despite getting healthier for the postseason, the Yankees have to win two in a row to advance to the ALCS. The Rays are in the driver’s seat with a 2-1 lead over the Yankees going into Thursday.
In a best-of-five series, all it takes is three wins to bounce the opposition. The Rays can do that to vaunted Yankees on Thursday evening at Petco Park. Somebody other than Giancarlo Stanton is going to have to get rolling for the Yankees tonight. Much has been made of Stanton’s hot bat, and it has been an impressive run with him. Stanton connected for 5 home runs in five at-bats. He’s done his part, which included another home run last night. Stanton went 2-for-4 at the dish with 2 RBI to lead the Yankees once again.
Stanton’s epic run at the plate may go for nothing if the Yankees don’t find a way in San Diego tonight. The Rays smell blood in the water and have to capitalize while the going is good. They can’t allow somebody other than Stanton to get red-hot, because that’s all it could take for the Yankees to fire back with two straight wins and advance to the ALCS.
A better pitching effort wouldn’t hurt, either. The Yankees got none of that from Masahiro Tanaka last night. Expecting a big performance out of him, Tanaka fell on his face, as he was touched up for 8 hits and 5 earned runs in 4 innings of work. The onus will fall on Jordan Montgomery to pick the rotation up and spin a season-saving performance tonight. The bullpen must be on notice going into this contest.
If Montgomery’s command is off the mark early, expect a quick call to the pen before things get ugly. The Rays are expected to counter with Ryan Thompson in what looks like a bullpen game. Thompson is expected to be the opener in his first ever postseason start. Head below for our free Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees pick for October 8, 2020.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees Game 4 Betting Odds:
Rays vs. Yankees Game 4 Prediction:
The Yankees are keeping their fingers crossed with Jordan Montgomery in Game 4. He has been a mixed bag for the Yanks throughout his career, and that’s been especially true in 2020.
Montgomery was strong as a rookie in 2017. He posted an ERA of 3.88 and 1.23 WHIP in 29 games. However, Montgomery has trended in the wrong direction, and he only received two appearances a season ago.
Montgomery had Tommy John surgery in 2018 and he’s been struggling to return to form since then. It’s really unfortunate because Montgomery showed a lot of good things as a rookie pitcher. I think the injury and surgery has something to do with his struggles.
He posted an ERA of 6.75 and 1.75 WHIP through 4 innings last season. The front office was looking for Montgomery to breakout and put the injury behind him in 2020, but it has been an inconsistent year for him.
That said, all will be forgotten if Montgomery can deliver in Game 4 on Thursday night. However, he has gotten hammered versus the Rays in the past at a tune of .552 and 6 RBI for the Rays at the plate in 22 at-bats.
It’s not to say that Montgomery absolutely needs to be the catalyst for the Yankees tonight. They still have one of the most dangerous offenses in the league. The Yankees are going to see a rookie on the hill for at least the 1st inning as well.
Ryan Thompson posted a 4.44 ERA and 1.41 WHIP through 26.1 innings in the regular season. He was lucky to avoid the Yankees in the regular season, but will have to deal with them in the biggest appearance of his brief major league career on Thursday night.
Expect Game 4 to be a thriller on Thursday night in San Diego. It should be a tense game if you’re a Yankees or Rays’ fan. The offenses likely show up again on Thursday night. Double digits on the scoreboard shouldn’t be a problem for the Rays and Yankees in Game 4.