The Tampa Bay Rays talked a big game coming into this series, but they have certainly backed it up. They are 5-1 against the Bombers this year and just a half-game out of first place in the AL East standings. Not only do the Rays have a chance to sweep the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, they could also take over first place the division with a win today. There’s a lot on the line for the Yankees today.
The Yankees are banking on James Paxton to turn the page today. It’ll be Paxton’s second start against the Rays in three turns; his previous start vs. Tampa was shaping up to be his best of the season before two late long balls tied the game. Paxton’s fastball velocity has slowly crept up, averaging 94.5 mph in his last start vs. Boston, and he could have a favorable matchup against a Tampa Bay team he is 3-1 against with a 3.38 ERA lifetime.
It’ll be a bullpen game for the Rays today in what would have been Charlie Morton’s spot; the veteran is on the IL with shoulder inflammation. John Curtiss will open things for Tampa Bay, and this will be his first start since his days in the minors. He has gone more than one inning in each of his appearances this year, so he could go one trip through the lineup before turning things over for Trevor Richards, the so-called “bulk” reliever. Curtiss threw two scoreless innings against the Yankees earlier this year, whiffing four, while Richards gave up two runs in four innings vs. New York on Aug. 9.
How to watch:
Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
First pitch: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV broadcast: YES, MLB Network
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM
Online Stream: Fox Sports Go