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Tampa Bay Rays news and links: Heading to the Big Apple

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For the second consecutive weekend, the Rays will take on the Yankees with the division lead in the balance

New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

After sweeping a two-game version of the Citrus Series (and holding the potent Marlins offense to a combined zero runs), the Rays will now face a far stiffer test: three games in Yankee Stadium.

Last weekend the Rays played host to the Yanks, barely holding on to a 1.5-game lead while the Yankees took two out of three. This weekend, it’s only a half game separating the two teams at the top of the AL East, meaning a series victory (or a split if the Yankees lack of a dome means another rainout...) is needed to remain the Kings of the AL East.

Here are the matchups:

Friday, 7:05 p.m.: Opener* vs. CC Sabathia (2-1, -0.1 fWAR, 3.26/6.31/5.34 ERA/FIP/xFIP)

Saturday, 1:05 p.m.: Blake Snell (3-4, 1.3, 3.56/2.88/2.50) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (3-3, 1.0, 3.44/4.10/4.01)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.: Charlie Morton (4-0, 1.5, 2.32/2.69/3.36) vs. TBD**

* Rays potentially looking at Ryne Stanek-Yonny Chirinos for Friday

** Yankees potentially looking at Luis Cessa for Sunday

So far this season, the Rays, for as good as they have been, have looked human against the Yankees and Red Sox. If they want to be legitimate contenders—which many of us believe them to be—they’ll need to start showing that against the Big Dogs of the East. This is a good series to start showing it. Up the flappy boys.

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