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Series preview: Rays vs. Yankees

Dome, sweet dome.

The new face of NY.
The new face of NY.

The Rays will return home after a tough road trip where they went 3-5 to host the 9-6 AL East leading Yankees. Word on the street is that they're going to sweep the Rays (seriously, I just asked a hot-dog vendor (I did not buy a hot dog)).

Here is an interactive graph of batter-pitcher matchup projections for every game of the series. The matchup projections come from a tool I made with Jason Hanselman (Dock of the Rays) that incorporates Bojan Koprivica's research on regressing platoon splits and ZiPS projections. The grey line is at an average wOBA.

These projections are wOBA (not park-neutral) so the overall marks will underrate the Rays and overrate the Yankees. Matchup projections will even out a bit. Jason's been working on park adjustments, but I'm lagging behind.

LHP David Price vs. LHP CC Sabathia, 7:10


With the Rays pitching staff reeling from injury, the team is in a position where they must win as many of Price's starts as possible. As always, Price should give the Rays a chance by neutralizing the opponent's left-handed sluggers (in this case, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann), and being tough on the righties as well. CC Sabathia is off to a slow start this year in terms of his ERA, but his peripherals are fine (25.9% strikeout rate. 3.7% walk rate), so don't be too sure that he won't figure it out.

LHP Erik Bedard vs. RHP Hiroki Kuroda, 7:10


Bedard is also a lefty, but -- and I know this is news to you all -- he's not as good as Price. Kuroda, for his part, is solid overall, but extremely tough on righties. This matchup does not favor the struggling Wil Myers or the Rays in general.

RHP Chris Archer vs. RHP Ivan Nova, 7:10


The lefty-heavy Yankee lineup will test Archer, with potentially six batters predicted to be above average against him. These projections consider Nova to be the very definition of average, but he's shut down the Rays in the past, so no, I'm not feeling terribly optimistic about this game, either.

LHP Cesar Ramos vs. TBD, 1:40

No projections here, but put your money on TBD, not D.