The streaky Tampa Bay Rays are coming off a sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays, but now they face the New York Yankees. The Yankees sit atop the American League East with a 43-20 record and a 111 win pace.
Thursday 7:05 PM: Blake Snell vs Domingo German
Friday 7:05 PM: Nathan Eovaldi vs Jonathan Loaisiga
Saturday 1:05 PM: TBA vs Luis Severino
Sunday 1:05 PM: TBA vs CC Sabathia
Jonathan Loaisiga is expected to be called up to start on Friday night, so the Yankees will have to make a roster move before the game.
First two games the Rays have the experience edge on the mound, but the Yankees take the edge in the final two
Yankees Starters Last 3 Years
Last year Domingo German got his first taste of the big leagues with seven appearances out of the bullpen. This year he’s gotten a chance in the rotation when Jordan Montgomery needed Tommy John surgery. German was a part of the trade that sent Martin Prado and (current Ray) Nate Eovaldi to the Marlins. In six starts German has a 6.00 ERA and 4.70 FIP over 33.0 innings. In his last start, facing the NY Mets, he allowed three runs in 6.0 innings including two homers.
Jonathan Loaisiga was placed on the 40 man roster this winter to protect him from the rule 5 draft and now Masahiro Tanaka’s DL stint has him positioned to make his MLB debut. Loaisiga entered the year just outside the top 10 Yankee prospect lists by most publications. He is a Tommy John surgery survivor who returned to pitching in late 2017. He throws a fastball in the mid to upper 90s and a curve ball is his breaking ball of choice.
Luis Severino struggled in 2016 and was demoted to the bullpen. In 2017 he forced his way into the rotation and thrived. Over 280 plus innings he has an ERA and FIP below 3.00. His strikeout rate has hovered around 30% and his walk rate has plummeted to 6.5%. In his last start he allowed two runs in 5.0 innings to the Mets. The Rays were held to two runs in 7.1 innings in his second start of the year.
CC Sabathia isn’t the fireballer on the the mound that he once was. This year he has a 3.27 ERA and 4.66 FIP. For the last four years he hasn’t had a strikeout rate above 20%. He has done a great job limiting damage on the balls put in play. In his last start he held the Washington Nationals scoreless through 5.2 innings.
The Yankees entered the season with one of the deepest bullpens in the league
Yankees Relievers Last 3 Years
Their 2.96 ERA ranks fifth in the majors and 2.96 FIP ranks second. Their 32.5% strikeout rate puts them as the only bullpen with a strikeout rate over 30%. Their 9.4% walk rate gives you opportunities.
Aroldis Chapman has locked down the ninth inning with a 1.26 ERA and 1.28 FIP this year. He’s struck out 44.3% of batters faced.
Chad Green (1.95 ERA/2.35 FIP), David Robertson (3.82 ERA/2.44 FIP), and Dellin Betances (3.41 ERA/2.77 FIP) have done the heavy lifting in getting the game to Chapman.
Everybody except AJ Cole has thrown in the last two days, but with the off day on Monday nobody has thrown more than once over the past three days. The bullpen should start the series at full strength.
The Yankees have produced the best offense in the league
Yankees Batters Last 3 Years
The Yankees are hitting .252/.331/.462 and put up a 116 wRC+. They are averaging 5.46 runs per game. They lead the league with 107 homers.
The Yankees are being carried by their least experienced bats. Aaron Judge (159 wRC+), Gleyber Torres (148 wRC+), and Miguel Andujar (135 wRC+) are leading the way.
Giancarlo Stanton (118 wRC+), Didi Gregorius (113 wRC+), Brett Gardner (111 wRC+), and Aaron Hicks (111 wRC+) are supplementing the young guys with some impressive hitting of their own.
Gary Sanchez has fallen off after a great start to his Yankees career with a .190/.291/.430 and put up a 96 wRC+ with 12 homers.
The Rays look to continue streaking.
The Rays will need some good bounces and maybe a strong wind blowing in to outplay the Yankees this weekend. But TBD has been doing a great job, and Blake Snell isn’t bad either; hopefully that will help them come out with a few wins.