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MLB Sports

New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays Preview

2018 Home Run Derby participants

The top teams in the American League East are setup for a four game set to end the first half of their season. The Yankees have gained some ground over the Rays in June, going from tied to having a fairly comfortable division lead. The Rays are looking to chip away at New York’s lead before heading into the all-star break.

The Yankees have had the Rays’ number this season. The Bronx Bombers lead the season series 7-2, outscoring Tampa Bay 52-25.

Probable Starters and Game Times

Rays Yankees
Charlie Morton has been pitching great for the Rays this season. He currently has a 2.36 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP. (Image Courtesy of

Game 1: Thursday, July 4 | 5:10 PM EST

Probable Pitchers: J.A. Happ (7-4, 5.23 ERA) vs. TBD

Game 2: Friday, July 5 | 7:10 PM EST

Probable Pitchers: Masahiro Tanaka (5-5, 3.74 ERA) vs. Brendan McKay (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

Game 3: Saturday, July 6 | 7:10 PM EST

Probable Pitchers: CC Sabathia (5-4, 4.04 ERA) vs. Blake Snell (5-7, 4.87 ERA)

Game 4: Sunday, July 7 | 1:10 PM EST

Probable Pitchers: James Paxton (5-3, 4.09 ERA) vs. Charlie Morton (9-2, 2.36 ERA)

Players to Watch For

New York Yankees: D.J. LeMahieu

D.J. LeMaheiu is in the American League MVP conversation at this point in the season. A lot of Yankee fans were hoping for a player like Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, but LeMahieu is having a better year than both of the superstars. As of July 3, LeMaheiu is slashing .341/.387/.527. His .527 slugging percentage just adds to his usually high bating average, giving the 30-year-old even more upside. LeMaheiu is starting at second base for the American League in the MLB All-Star Game on July 9.

Tampa Bay Rays
Image Courtesy of Flip Board

Tampa Bay Rays: Brendan McKay

Brendan McKay made his major league debut on the mound against the Texas Rangers on June 28. The rookie threw six scoreless innings only allowing one hit. What’s even more impressive is that he can hit as well. He started against the Orioles in a game where he went 0-for-4, so he still has yet to get his first big league hit. Look for McKay to get some at-bats either as DH or as a pinch-hitter this weekend.

Notable Injuries

New York Yankees:

New York Yankees
Luke Voit strained his abdomen sliding into second base against the Red Sox in the London Series. (Image Courtesy of Flip Board)
  • Miguel Andujar is out for the season with a shoulder injury.
  • Giancarlo Stanton is already back on the IL with a knee injuring, this time until at least August.
  • Luis Severino remains out due to a lat injury.
  • Greg Bird can recover from his foot injury by July 20.
  • Jordan Montgomery can be pitching again by August 15 if his shoulder recovers.
  • Domingo German can be back for Wednesday’s game of this series if he is healthy.
  • Cameron Maybin was sidelined with a calf injury and can return in August.
  • Dellin Betances has a lateral injury keeping him out until likely August.
  • Luke Voit injured his abdomen in London and is out for the series against the Rays.

Tampa Bay Rays:

    • Brandon Lowe should return to action this weekend.
    • Kevin Kiermaier can also play this weekend if his wrist allows.
    • Tyler Glasnow will sit out until mid-to-late August with a forearm strain.
    • Matt Duffy is out until at least August with a hamstring injury.

Feature Image Courtesy of Getty Images.

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