Rival Roundup, Yankees @ Rays Preview

Before we get to the Yanks and specifically tonight’s game, let’s get a quick status update on a division rival. (Something I may do more frequently on going – out of sight shouldn’t mean out of mind.)

On May 8th the Red Sox were 10-19 and were in dead last in the AL East. They’ve gone 11-4 in their last 15 games, and are now only five games behind Tampa – who’ve played well all season – for second best in the division. Worth noting is that the Sawx didn’t bully the weaklings of MLB over that 15-game stretch as they played series with Atlanta, Houston, and the White Sox. Also worth noting, Boston’s next 10 games are against Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Oakland and 16 of their next 20 are against those teams and Seattle. As I wrote HERE, the Yanks are in a tough stretch of their schedule, so even if they play well I’d expect them, Boston, Tampa Bay, and Toronto to all be a little closer to each other in the standings soon. It’s great to get passionate about every win and loss (that’s what makes us fans) and enjoy the ride, but let’s remember that the baseball season is a very long ride.

After an impressive win last night, the suddenly new-look Yankees are at it again in the Sunshine State tonight looking for their second win in a row over the Rays and their fourth consecutive overall. They’ll be facing a relatively unfamiliar face, as the Rays will send left-handed Jeffrey Springs to the mound for his first career start against the Bombers. Springs, like many Rays’ pitchers, can start, relieve, open, close, whatever – and he’s pretty good.

Springs has made 8 relief appearances and four starts this season, but his last three outings were starts and they were good ones as he’s posted an average game score of 59 over the stretch. He’s not a hard thrower but he’s shown great command with his four-seamer, changeup and slider and has shown an elite propensity to get batters to leave the zone (99th percentile chase rate). For the season he’s thrown 27.1 innings and posted an ERA of 1.32 and a FIP of 2.41. And although this will be his first start against New York, he has faced them in relief and it hasn’t ended well for the Bombers as they’ve gone a combined two for 19 with two singles off of him.

Opposing Springs on the Yanks’ behalf will be Jameson Taillon. As you know, Taillon has also shown a great ability to get batters to chase, which when combined with an anemic walk rate (97th percentile) has led to very good results. Taillon has made eight starts in 2022 and has posted an average game score of 54 with an ERA of 2.95 and a 3.26 FIP. He’s coming off his best start of the season last Sunday against the White Sox in which he allowed only one run over seven innings with a 7/1 strikeout to walk ratio.

First pitch from the Trop will be at 7:10 pm. You can watch the game on Prime Video, Bally Sports Sun, and you can stream it on MLB.tv. The radio call will be on WFAN 101.9/660 and WADO 1280. As always, follow along with me @mybaseballpage1 on Twitter and the “My Baseball Page” on Facebook.

Let’s do this, gentlemen, heave-ho, four in a row!

Yankees Lineup:

Judge CF
Rizzo 1B
Torres 2B
Andújar LF
Carpenter DH
Kiner-Falefa SS
Gallo RF
Higashioka C
Gonzalez 3B

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