Twenty games remain in the Yankees' 2017 regular season schedule, and every opponent the Yankees will face the rest of the year is still mathematically in the hunt for an AL Wild Card spot. At this point, every series and every game is the most important of the season. Fortunately, it looks like the Yankees are getting hot. They've won six of their nine games this month, sporting a +23 run differential.
The series was originally scheduled to be played in Tampa, but due to Hurricane Irma, the Yankees and Rays will play their series at Citi Field. It's hard to say whether or not this gives the Yankees any kind of advantage, but it can't hurt to get to sleep in your own bed.
The Yankees come in fresh off a 16-run offensive outburst against the Rangers Judge and Sanchez both hit massive home runs, and Didi Gregorius added his own 4-for-5 day. Most importantly, the Yankees trimmed the AL East lead to just three and a half games, and continued to solidify their spot atop the AL Wild Card standings. The 16 runs from yesterday tied the most the team has scored all season. Yesterday's game has to be up there for most fun game of the season.
Tonight, the Yankees face Jake Odorizzi on the mound. The last time the Yankees faced Odorizzi was back on April 4th. The Yankees won and Ronald Torreyes and Chase Headley each tagged Odorizzi for a home run. Odorizzi hasn't had a great year this year, sporting an ERA north of 4.50. Furthermore, Greg Bird and Aaron Judge each have a .429 batting average and two home runs in seven respective at-bats against Odorizzi. Tonight could be another perfect night for an offensive outburst.
For the Yankees, C.C. Sabathia gets the start. C.C. is coming off a pretty dreadful start against Baltimore, where he gave up three home runs. However, C.C. has been pretty solid overall since coming off the DL in mid-August.
Additionally, Clint Frazier is back off the DL. The Yankees added him to the active roster today, but he isn't in the starting lineup tonight against a right-handed starter.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM EST. The game will be broadcast on YES and the MLB Network for our out-of-market fans.
|NEW YORK YANKEES||TAMPA BAY RAYS|
|Brett Gardner - LF||Kevin Kiermaier - CF|
|Aaron Judge - RF||Trevor Plouffe - 3B|
|Gary Sanchez - C||Evan Longoria - DH|
|Didi Gregorius - SS||Lucas Duda - 1B|
|Starlin Castro - 2B||Cesar Puello - LF|
|Matt Holliday - DH||Wilson Ramos - C|
|Jacoby Ellsbury - CF||Adeiny Hechavarria - SS|
|Todd Frazier - 3B||Danny Espinosa - 2B|
|Greg Bird - 1B||Peter Bourjos - RF|
|CC Sabathia - LHP||Jake Odorizzi - RHP|