Tonight, the Rays begin a pivotal four-game series at Yankee Stadium against the (you guessed it!) New York Yankees. Fans attending the game will have the treat of watching a great pitching matchup: Chris Archer vs. CC Sabathia.
The Rays (53-49) are coming off a series win against the Baltimore Orioles and will look to gain some ground in both the division and wild card race behind their ace Chris Archer.
The Yankees (49-36) currently sit in 1st place in the AL Wild Card standings and 2nd in the AL East. After a near month-long skid, they have won three straight and five of their last six games.
Tonight’s game will be televised on Fox Sports Sun. First pitch is slated for 6:05 PM ET.
The right-hander allowed four runs, one of which was earned, on four hits and one walk while striking out 11 across seven innings to take the loss Saturday against the Rangers.
Archer has been a strikeout machine in 2017, fanning at least eight batters in each of his June and July starts. The Rays ace stands 7-6 on the year with a 3.77 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 167/44 K/BB ratio over 136 innings.
He has excelled vs. RHB’s, holding hitters to the tune of .232/.287/.365 from the right side of the plate. He’s pitched competently against lefties, posting a .251/.325/.401 slash-line from the left side of the plate.
Archer begin his career by going 5-0 with a 1.78 ERA in his first eight starts against the Yankees. Since, New York has figured him out a bit, as Archer is 1-6 with a 3.86 ERA in his last eight starts against the AL East rival.
The southpaw (9-3) held the Mariners to one run on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts over five innings in a victory Friday night.
The word on the street heading into 2017 was that Sabathia may be washed up. However, the veteran left-hander has been a powerful anchor for the Yankees rotation. Since May 16, Sabathia has allowed just nine earned runs in as many starts, good for a 1.62 ERA over 50 innings.
Sabathia has excelled vs. both RHB’s and LHB’s, holding hitters to the tune of .238/.311/.376 from the right side of the plate and .222/.333/.259 from the left side of the plate.
Sabathia has dominated Tampa Bay this season, sporting a 2-0 record with a 0.90 ERA against the Rays in 2017.