The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees are set to play the second game of a rain-shortened series Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium
Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees
Tampa Bay sits 10 games over .500 this afternoon and will be looking to move a season-high 11 games over with a victory against one of its American League East rivals. The Rays will be playing its second game of a 10-game stretch of playing divisional opponents. It’s an important part of the season, as the club is currently three games behind New York. Playing on the road hasn’t been much of a burden, entering with a Major League-best 28-18 record away from home. Tampa Bay is 18-15 during the day this season and 18-23 when playing teams with a winning record.
Rays starting pitcher David Price has a winning 8-7 record and 3.56 ERA in 18 starts this season and is coming off a losing effort last time out. The left-hander allowed four runs and five hits over six frames in a 7-0 road loss to the Twins. He will be making his 10th road start of the year, posting a 5-3 mark and 3.84 ERA, issuing nine walks and registering 50 strikeouts in 63 1/3 innings. Price has enjoyed great success against divisional opponents, bringing in a 19-5 record and 3.01 ERA into today’s outing. In nine career games (eight starts) versus the Bronx Bombers, the former first-round selection is 3-1 with a 3.88 ERA.
New York has dropped four of five games and nobody seems to care with All-Star shortstop Derek Jeter chasing 3,000 hits. He stands two hits shy of the mark and everyone is starting to talk about it, even in the clubhouse. The Yankees are 11-3 in their last 14 home games and have a great chance of improving upon that mark during today’s contest. The club enters with a Major League-best 24-5 record during day games. New York has also jumped all over opponents this year by outscoring them by a 128-71 margin in the first two innings. Facing a southpaw starter also shouldn’t be a hindrance, posting a 17-8 mark against them thus far in 2011.
Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett is 8-7 with a 4.12 ERA in 18 starts this season and is coming off a loss in Cleveland last time out. In that particular outing, he allowed four earned runs and four hits over seven innings. The right-hander has made 11 starts at Yankee Stadium, posting a 6-4 mark and 4.04 ERA, while tallying a 16-14 mark and 4.00 ERA at the venue since joining the club in 2009. Burnett owns a 12-8 record and 3.36 ERA in 26 career starts versus the Rays, tying his personal record for most wins against any opponent.
Bettors will be interested in backing the Yankees due to their 20-7 mark on Saturdays, while the Rays are just 3-4 after an off day