#921 New York Yankeesvs.#922 Tampa Bay Rays
Written by Chris Kubala
New York Yankees (78-65 SU, 77-66 RL, 74-66-3 O/U) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (71-74 SU, 69-76 RL, 72-70-4 O/U)
MLB: Wednesday, September 13, 2017, Citi Field, New York, New York, 1:10 pm ET
Lines: Tampa Bay -118, New York +108; Over/Under: 8.
A pair of AL East rivals in the playoff picture close out an early week set at a neutral site thanks to Hurricane Irma. The New York Yankees finish a three game series with the Tampa Bay Rays at Citi Field Wednesday afternoon. New York won the opening game of the series, 5-1, Monday night to draw first blood. The pitching matchup for Tuesday’s middle game of the set saw Sonny Gray pitch for the Yankees against Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell. First pitch in the contest was set for 7:10 pm ET.
New York won for the fourth time in five games as they took the opener of this series. The Yankees entered Tuesday four games ahead of the Twins for home field advantage in the wild card game and three games behind the Red Sox in the AL East. New York finished with only four hits in the game but made the most of them Monday. Todd Frazier hit a three-run homer, his 27th of the year, as part of the Yankees’ five run fourth inning. Didi Gregorius drove in a run for New York while the other run scored on an error. CC Sabathia recorded a no-decision as he was pulled after 4.1 innings: he allowed a run on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts. David Robertson picked up the win with 2.2 scoreless innings of relief.
Jaime Garcia, pitching for his third team this season, makes his 25th start of the year and his sixth with the Yankees. He pitched for the Braves and Twins earlier this season. On the year, Garcia is 5-9 with a 4.43 ERA, 1.413 WHIP, 60 walks and 112 strikeouts over 144.1 innings of work. He took the loss in in his last start, which came at home against the Indians August 30. Garcia allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts over five innings in a 2-1 Yankees loss. He is 0-1 with a 3.77 ERA, a 1.74 WHIP, nine walks and 10 strikeouts over 14.1 innings in his last three starts. In his 183rd major league appearance and 172nd career start, Garcia faces the Rays for the first time. He is 0-3 with a 4.30 ERA and a 1.364 WHIP over 29.1 innings in five career starts at Citi Field.
Tampa Bay’s loss in the opening game of the series has knocked them further back in the wild card race. The Rays entered Tuesday’s game four games behind the Twins for the second wild card slot in the American League. Tampa Bay finished with eight hits but only Adeiny Hechevarria (RBI) had more than one: he finished with three. He was a homer short of the cycle and drove in Lucas Duda in the second inning. The Rays went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position. Jake Odorizzi (8-8) took the loss on the mound as he allowed five runs (one earned) on three hits with three walks and five strikeouts over 3.1 innings.
Chris Archer takes the mound for his 31st start of the year for the Rays in this contest. He is 9-9 with a 4.00 ERA, a 1.239 WHIP, 53 walks and 230 strikeouts over 182.1 innings of work this season. Archer took the loss in his last start, which came Friday on the road against the Red Sox. He allowed eight runs (six earned) on nine hits with one walk and five strikeouts over three innings in an eventual 9-3 Tampa Bay loss. He is 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA, a 1.80 WHIP, two walks and 13 strikeouts over 10 innings in his last three starts. He makes his 17th career start against the Yankees: he is 6-6 with a 2.82 ERA and a 0.988 WHIP over 108.1 innings of work. Archer is making his first career start at Citi Field in his 159th major league appearance and 157th start.
New York is cruising along for the postseason: they are still in the hunt for the AL East crown as well. Tampa Bay needs to get some wins and some help if they want to stay in the playoff picture at this point in time. Fortunately, they have their ace on the mound in Archer: he’s struggled of late but has good numbers against the Yankees. Garcia has no wins since coming to the Bronx and hasn’t pitched since the end of August. He’ll likely be limited: look for Tampa Bay to come up with the win in the finale of this set.
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Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.