The New York Yankees (72-44, 41-16 home) host the Tampa Bay Rays (61-53, 26-31 away) in the second game of a three-game series. Tampa Bay shut out the Yankees in the opener, 4-0, but New York owns a 5-2 record in head-to-head games this year.
Tuesday’s first pitch is at 7:05 p.m. EST inside Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. The Yankees are the betting favorite at -170, and the over-under total is 7.5 runs.
What to Know – Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay has won three in a row, thanks to dominant pitching. The Rays have surrendered just three runs over the last three games. Tampa Bay is tied with the Toronto Blue Jays for second place in the American League East.
The Rays turn to left-hander Jeffrey Springs (4-3, 2.56 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) to keep their winning streak alive. Springs won’t go deep into contests, but the starter has been reliable this year and gives the Rays a chance early. The 29-year-old has thrown 84.1 innings this year, allowing 24 earned runs on 74 hits and 18 walks while striking out 91 batters.
The Rays’ offense is led by Randy Arozarena, who has swatted 15 home runs and driven in 58 runs through 109 games. Isaac Paredes has come alive at the dish in his first year with the Rays and third season in the majors, hitting 14 home runs and collecting 34 RBIs in his junior campaign.
Tampa Bay’s offense ranks 21st in the league, batting .238 as a team and averaging 4.1 runs per game. The Rays’ pitching staff sits fourth in the majors with a 3.42 team earned run average.
What to Know – New York Yankees
New York continues its second-half slide where they’ve dropped three in a row and ten of its last 12 contests. The Yankees remain in first place in the AL East but no longer hold the best record in baseball.
Left-hander Nestor Cortes (9-3, 2.67 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) aims to get the Yankees back on track. The talented 27-year-old has been a reliable starter for the Yankees and hasn’t lost a start since the middle of June.
For the year, Cortes has 118.0 innings under his belt, surrendering 35 earned runs, 89 hits, 29 walks, and 125 strikeouts.
While the Yankees offense has sputtered, the bat of Aaron Judge has not. The slugging outfielder leads the majors with 46 home runs and 100 RBIs through 112 contests. Anthony Rizzo (27 home runs, 67 RBIs) and Giancarlo Stanton (24 home runs, 61 RBIs) compliment Judge in the Yankees’ lineup.
The Yankees score 5.1 runs per game and sit 16th in the MLB, hitting .242 as a team. The pitching staff for New York features a 3.29 ERA, third in the majors.
The Pick is In
The current stretch is concerning for the Yankees, who looked unbeatable throughout the first half of the season. New York has too much talent on its roster to let this continue, and it starts Tuesday night when the bats come alive.
The Pick: New York Yankees ML