Sunday MLB Preview – Rays at Yankees

This important AL East series is up for grabs with two All-Star hurlers on the hill.

Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees

Tampa Bay picked up a 10-5 road victory over the New York Yankees on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.  The Rays have won three of their last four games against the Yankees in the Bronx, after losing six straight here.  The win improved the club’s record to 55-35 on the season and moved them to within two games of first place.  “It was a good day, we needed this win today and I was fortunate enough to get some big hits and score some runs,” Reid Brignac said.  Tampa Bay is now 23-11 against divisional foes this season (+1,020) and have won 13 of its last 16 games on the road against the AL East.  The Rays also took a 4-3 season series lead over the Bronx Bombers heading into the series finale this afternoon.

Rays starting pitcher David Price is 12-4 with a 2.42 ERA in 17 starts this season (+360), with the team alternating wins and losses over his last five starts.  He picked up a 6-4 home victory over the Red Sox last time out, giving up two runs and eight hits over 7.2 innings.  The left-hander has struck out 100 batters in 115.1 innings, including 36 over his last four outings.  Price has compiled a 6-3 record and 2.79 ERA in nine road starts (+260), but has lost two straight away from Tropicana Field due to the offense providing just two runs of support.  In five career games (four starts) against the Yankees, he is a perfect 2-0 with a 2.56 ERA.

New York is now an even 1-1 on its current nine-game, 10-day home stand and dropped to 21-12 against divisional opponents (+450).  The Yankees have a good chance of picking up a victory on Sunday afternoon due to the team’s 21-7-1 record in series play, which is tops in the Majors this season.  New York’s 29-14 home record (+410) is the second-best record in the AL and third-best in the majors (Atlanta, Detroit).  Despite trailing in the seasons series versus the Rays, the Yankees will remain confident in knowing they are 25-15 at home against them since 2006.  The team is 22-11 during the day with the total being 17-14-2 O/U in those games.

Yankees starting pitcher Andy Pettitte is 11-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 17 starts this year and the team has won his last four outings.  Over that span, the left-hander has allowed 10 runs and 23 hits over 26 innings, with the team outscoring opponents 31-13.  He is a solid 7-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 10 home starts, giving up just 52 hits in 63.2 frames.  Pettitte is a perfect 7-0 with a sparkling 1.67 ERA in eight daytime starts, holding the opposition to a combined .198 average.   In 30 career games (29 starts) against the Rays, he is 16-6 with a 4.01 ERA, but was hammered in giving up seven runs (six earned) in just five innings of work in a 8-6 home loss to Tampa on May 20.

Bettors will take notice that the Yankees are an outstanding 18-4 when the total is 8 to 8.5 this season (+1,260) and 54-31 in the situation the last three years (+1,420).  It will be hard to pull the trigger on the favorite knowing the Rays step in with a gaudy 22-9 mark against southpaws (+1,040).

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