The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays meet on Sunday for game-three of their weekend series in Florida. The Rays pounded the Yanks on Saturday, following up their 5-4 win Friday with another victory. The Yankees are in danger of losing their fourth game in a row and slipping to 24-17.
They were on quite the run to open the season, but have since stabilized a bit. Despite being in the driver seat at the moment, I think it’s going to be a nail biter in September when it comes down to reaching the postseason.
The Yankees currently assume 2nd place in the AL East, 0.5 games back of the Orioles. Tampa can jump up and inch closer to the Yanks with a win today behind Chris Archer. Archer has been adequate in 2017, but that’s part of them, too.
He is expected to be better than adequate, he’s supposed to be an ace. Last season, his numbers would indicate that he wasn’t in ace form. Archer ultimately finished with an ERA of 4.02 for his worst year since he was a rookie getting only four starts. So, for all intent and purposes, 2016 was his worst.
For CC Sabathia, he’s still hanging around in the Yanks’ rotation. That’s a pretty big accomplishment considering where he was a few years ago. After he produced a 4.78 ERA in 2013, a 5.28 ERA in 2014, and 4.73 in 2015, it all but looked like his time as a starter were over. However, he’s stayed in the rotation, thanks to a slight bump in production last season, and the notion that there just aren’t as many quality pitchers as we’ve seen in the past. Take a look below to get our free Yankees vs. Rays pick on Sunday.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays Pick
CC Sabathia (3-2, 4.93 ERA) vs. Chris Archer (3-2, 3.70 ERA)
Sabathia is not anywhere near the same pitcher he used to be for the Yankees. It almost feels like after he lost weight, he was never the same hurler again. Sabathia has put a few more pounds on, but hasn’t reverted to his previous form.
At times, he looked like he was going to be a lock for the HOF, but the hiccups he had over the past few years has dampened his chances. If you were to ask me, no I don’t believe he’s a HOFer. Note that he posted an ERA of +4.00 in his first four years in the majors as well.
Sabathia owns a 4.93 ERA in 2017, a step back from his 3.91 ERA a year ago. Like I said earlier, Archer hasn’t been very ace like. A 3.70 ERA is fine, but not something I would peg from an ace. He’s gotten shellacked a few times this season, allowing 4 runs against the Tigers, 5 to the Orioles, and 6 against the Indians in his last start. However, he’s been pretty efficient at home, with a 2.94 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, including a record of 2-0. In his last three starts against the Yanks at home, he allowed 2, 1, and 2 runs in each. He should be able to traverse their lineup pretty well on Sunday. The Rays look like a good MLB pick this afternoon.
PICK: RAYS (-138)