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New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays: James Paxton vs. Charlie Morton

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The Yankees wrap up the first half of the season with an afternoon game in Tampa.

MLB: New York Yankees at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Take it in, folks. It’s officially the last game before the slowest week in sports. Today, the Yankees wrap up their four-game series against the Rays and have a chance to win the series. The last two games of this series has come down to the final or extra innings, so hopefully the Yankees can take this one handily.

James Paxton will be on the hill this afternoon, and he was pretty good last time out. He went six and only surrendered one run against the Mets last Tuesday. Despite only striking out three, Brooks Baseball shows his stuff was a little sharper last time out. He saw slight upticks in velocity and movement across the board. That could be something to look out for today. Perhaps his knee is feeling a bit better, or the work he’s put in with the Yankees’ coaching staff is paying off.

The Yankees’ lineup is going to have their work cut out for them today. Charlie Morton is on the mound for the Rays, and he’s currently the American League leader in both ERA and FIP and owns a 11.1 K/9 rate. Fortunately, his worst start of the season came against the Yankees back on May 19th.

Considering it’s the final game before the All-Star break, Aaron Boone decided to rest Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu. Boone also mentioned the two would be available off the bench if needed. Gary Sanchez gets the spot as the DH today after getting a rest day yesterday. Austin Romine is behind the plate again (ugh).

Finally, Breyvic Valera will make his Yankee debut this afternoon at second base. He was most recently a September call-up for Baltimore last year. The Yankees selected him off waivers back in May, and he’s since lit Triple-A on fire. He’s hitting .348/.419/.564 with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season.

Here are your lineups:

The Yankees can be seen on YES and TBS today. Fans can also stream the game on MLB.tv or FuboTV. As always, the Yankees can be heard on WFAN. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM EST.