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Yanks Prime for Picking

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As the Rays get ready to "welcome" the Yankees for a brief, two-game series, the Yankees may be at their highest level of vulnerability. After playing an emotional series against the BoSox(in which they lost), the Yankees must now hit the road to face the Rays, who are coming off of their first series win. The Yankees final game against Boston last night did not end until after midnight. The team then had to fly down to Tampa, and will be playing tonight at 7:10 with limited rest.

The Yankees bullpen may also have reason to feel tired. They were not used too often in the first 2 games of the Red Sox series, but they got plenty of action last night. Phil Hughes early exit forced their bullpen to work six innings of ball. One of the pitchers who did not work yesterday was Joba Chamberlain. Joba's father Harlan is in critical condition and Joba will not be making the trip to Tampa. We would like to send our best wishes to Harlan Chamberlain in hopes of a speedy recovery. With three relievers going last night and Joba's unavailability, the Rays need to get to the bullpen early and hurt them where they are weak.

The Yankees will be getting Derek Jeter back, but will also be hurting at a different position. Last night, Jose Molina hurt his hamstring, which is another injury at the catching position for the Yankees. With Posada's throwing arm not quite ready, expect the Yanks to send down SS Alberto Gonzalez with Jeter returning and callup C Chad Moeller.

This team is beat up, tired, and missing key players. The Rays need to take this as an opportunity to snag a win or two before heading to Minnesota for a strange quirk in the schedule.