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Yankees vs. Rays: Series Preview

The Yankees look to keep things rolling toward the postseason.

Kansas City Royals v New York Yankees Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

With the Yankees’ win over Kansas City yesterday and Boston’s loss to Toronto, New York moved to within four games of the Red Sox with six games left to play. That’s a tall mountain to climb, but it is still mathematically possible. All the Yankees can do is keep on winning and hope they get some help the way that they did yesterday.

Here’s how the pitching matchups shake out for the series against the Rays:

Game 1: Jordan Montgomery vs. Blake Snell

Montgomery is coming off a brilliant start against the Orioles on September 16th in which he pitched six scoreless innings on the way to a win. It was Montgomery’s longest start since July 25th. Joe Girardi’s leash for Montgomery is obviously short with a rested bullpen, but he’s shown he’ll let him pitch if it all goes well.

Like Montgomery, Snell is coming off a very strong showing in his last start. He pitched seven innings of two-hit ball against the Chicago Cubs last time out. His start prior to that was a Rays win against the Yankees in which he gave up one run in five innings back on September 12th.

Game 2: Luis Severino vs. Matt Andriese

Severino has been the Yankees’ ace all season, and seems poised to start the Wild Card game if the Yankees have to take part in it, but his last start was not very sharp. He lasted just three innings against the Twins last week at home, surrendering three runs in a very labored outing. To make matters worse, Severino was struck with a ball during batting practice on Saturday. Everything seems to be okay, but it’s worth watching anyway.

The Rays have lost six of the last seven games Andriese has pitched in. His ERA has climbed to 4.44, but his last start was one that he pitched well enough to get a win in. He tossed six innings with eight strikeouts of the Orioles, giving up three runs, but Tampa Bay managed to score just one run for him in what ended up being a loss.

Game 3: Sonny Gray vs. Alex Cobb

Gray’s teammates actually scored some runs for him in his last start against Toronto in which he gave up just one run in six innings. It can be easy to overlook how good Gray has been in his time as a Yankee because of the little run support he has gotten, but three of his last four starts have been very strong.

Cobb is also coming off a win in his last start against Baltimore in which he pitched six innings and gave up three runs. Before that, he had back to back starts against the Red Sox with different degrees of success. With a 4.72 ERA this season away from Tropicana Field, Cobb has definitely struggled on the road. Yankee Stadium likely won’t make those struggles any easier.

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