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New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays: Series preview

The Yankees kick off a four-game set against the Rays tonight.

New York Yankees v New York Mets Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Yankees and the Rays haven’t faced each other since New York’s home opener at the beginning of April. Now they’ll play each other seven times over the next 11 days. The good news is that the Rays are hovering below the .500 mark, and this should be a winnable series.

Game One: Domingo German vs. Blake Snell

German has been part of the Yankees’ rotation for a month now, and he has been on quite the rollercoaster ride so far. He got off to a great start, tossing six no-hit innings against Cleveland. However, he followed that performance up with two six-run games. He is coming off of one of his better starts, though, having held the Mets to three runs with nine strikeouts during his last outing. German will square off opposite of Blake Snell, who happens to be one of the Rays‘ two starters. He is putting together a great season (2.30 ERA, 0.98 WHIP). Snell limited the Mariners to two hits last week, and has surrendered just three runs over his last five starts.

Game Two: Jonathan Loaisiga vs. Nathan Eovaldi

This promises to be an interesting game. There was a lot of speculation about who might replace Masahiro Tanaka in the rotation after he went down with double hamstring sprains last week. Although he only has 25 Double-A innings under his belt, the Yankees decided to call up Jonathan Loaisiga. This could end up being just a spot start, or he could stick around while Tanaka mends. The young right-hander started the season in Tampa before earning a promotion. He has a 3.00 ERA over 45 innings pitched in 2018. There could be worse teams to make your MLB debut against. Loaisiga will face off against our old friend Nathan Eovaldi. This will be just his fourth start since making his way back from Tommy John surgery. He no-hit the Athletics through six innings during his season debut, but has surrendered seven runs in the two starts since then.

Game Three: Luis Severino vs. TBD

Since Chris Archer is dealing with an abdominal strain (and recently suffered a setback), it’s difficult to predict who will pitch for the Rays over the weekend. Ryan Yarbrough started the day after Eovaldi’s last outing and gave up four earned runs against the Blue Jays. He could get the nod. It‘s no secret that the Rays have had their relievers start games, and have used their bullpen for entire games. The Yankees will likely face them all over the weekend. One thing that we do know for sure is that Severino will start Saturday’s game for New York. He has been dominant this year, with his only rocky outing coming against Boston on April 10th.

Game Four: TBD vs. TBD

Seems like a questionable decision for the Rays to throw TBD out there two days in a row. This should be CC Sabathia’s start if the Yankees stay on rotation. Unfortunately, the squad will fly to DC for 1.5 games the following day and it’s unclear who will pitch in either of those games just yet. Stay tuned.