MLB Predictions 2012: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays

The New York Yankees (76-57) and Tampa Bay Rays (73-61) will open up an important three-game American League East series on Monday afternoon at Tropicana Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:10 p.m. ET

New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays

Alex Rodriguez is expected to rejoin the New York Yankees in Tampa on Monday

New York has held sole possession of first place in the AL East for nearly three months, but now find themselves in a serious pennant race due to going 2-4 in a stretch of 22 straight games against division rivals.  “We need to play better baseball,” commented Yankees manager Joe Girardi.  The Bronx Bombers could receive a major lift with the return of third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who has been on the disabled list with a broken left hand.  Second baseman Robinson Cano should also supply some pop, batting .426 in 68 career at-bats against Monday’s opposing starter.  New York is 2-9 in its last 11 road games versus winning teams.

Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (13-4, 3.40 ERA) suffered an 8-5 home loss to the Toronto Blue Jays last time out, allowing five runs (two earned) and nine hits over seven frames.  The left-hander is 7-1 with a 3.97 ERA in 12 road outings, issuing 21 walks and striking out 74 batters in 81.2 innings.  In 27 career games versus the Rays, Sabathia has compiled a 10-8 record and 3.09 ERA, but has gone 3-7 with a 3.56 ERA in 16 starts since joining the Bronx Bombers.

Tampa Bay returns home off a disappointing 3-4 road trip, but did capture a 9-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon.  The Rays offense is ready to roll in a very important series, as it finished with a season-high 18 hits, with each starter getting at least one in the lineup.  The club actually outscored the Blue Jays and Rangers by a 28-23 combined margin in those seven contests.

Rays starting pitcher James Shields (12-8, 3.91 ERA) had his personal four-game win streak snapped in a 1-0 road setback to the Texas Rangers, giving up a single run and three hits over seven frames.  The right-hander is 5-4 with a 4.04 ERA in 13 home starts, surrendering nine home runs in 89 combined innings.  In 24 career games versus the Yankees, Shields has registered a 6-13 mark and 4.58 ERA.

Sports bettors will likely back the Rays due to their 4-0 record in Shields’ last four starts in the series, while the Yankees have suffered four losses in Sabathia’s last four efforts at this ballpark.

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Posted by on Sep 2 2012. Filed under Baseball, Headlines. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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