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New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays: Nestor Cortes vs. Ryan Yarbrough

The Yankees and Rays are set tot meet for the first time this season.

MLB: New York Yankees at Chicago White Sox Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

After wrapping up a six-game homestand, the Yankees are heading back out on the road, starting tonight with their first game of 2022 against a familiar foe.

Tonight, the Yankees are getting their first shot of the season against a team that has had their number in recent years: the Rays. Tampa Bay has won the AL East the last two seasons, knocking off the Yankees in several high-profile meetings, including the 2020 ALDS. The Yankees currently hold the lead in the division this year after their hot start, but Tampa Bay could put a big dent into that over the next four days.

To try and get the series off to a good start, the Yankees will send Nestor Cortes to the mound. Cortes is coming off his worst outing of the season so far, allowing three runs in five innings to the White Sox last Saturday. Even then, he still did enough to keep the damage to a minimum as the Yankees eventually won 7-5.

Also, ahead of tonight’s game, the Yankees have made some notable moves, signing Matt Carpenter to a MLB deal, while also calling up Manny Bañuelos from Triple-A. Carpenter is making his Yankees debut and DHing after Aaron Hicks got scratched from the lineup with right hamstring tightness. Besides that, DJ LeMahieu is still out of the starting lineup, but might be able to pinch-hit tonight.

Ryan Yarbrough will get the start for Tampa Bay, coming in with a 4.20 ERA in 15 innings after missing April with a groin injury. In his most recent outing, he pitched four frames of two-run ball (one unearned), allowing six hits with no walks and striking out four in Baltimore.

There will still be a long way to go in the season after this weekend, but these four games could lead to a big swing in the standings in either direction. It should be interesting.

How to watch:

Location: Tropicana Field - St. Petersburg, FL

First pitch: 6:40 p.m. EST

TV broadcast: YES, Bally Sports Sun, MLB Network (out-of-market only)

Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280 (NYY)/WDAE 620 AM/95.3 FM, WGES 680 (TB)

Online stream: MLB.tv

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