The Yankees, owners of a Major League-best 32-13 record, look to win their fourth straight as they get set to face the Tampa Bay Rays for the second game of the first series between these two rivals. The opener on Thursday night went to the Yankees in a relatively stress-free performance, as Nestor Cortes went eight strong in another masterful outing, leading the charge in a 7-2 win over the two-time defending AL East champs.
This time around, the Yankees will send out Jameson Taillon to the mound. The former Pirate has had relatively good success against the Rays in his career. with four starts to the tune of a 3.26 ERA, but a 1.44 WHIP is well above his career norm. That said, Taillon has fared well in 2022 with a 2.95 ERA and 3.26 FIP across 42.2 innings, walking a minuscule 2.8 percent of batters.
On the other side, the Rays will trot out an intriguing arm in Jeffrey Springs. The left-hander who came over in a minor trade with the Red Sox in February 2021 is off to a tremendous start. He opened up the year in the ‘pen but has slowly transitioned to a starter role with four starts under his belt already. Opposing hitters have a mere .450 OPS against Springs, who has a 261 ERA+ in 27.1 innings.
DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks are once again out of the Yankees’ lineup, and they won’t be getting Josh Donaldson back anytime soon, as he was transferred from the COVID-IL to the standard 10-day IL with right shoulder inflammation. Instead, we’ll get another odd starting nine, featuring Miguel Andújar at cleanup, the recently-signed Matt Carpenter in the No. 5 spot. Kyle Higashioka starts behind the plate tonight over Jose Trevino.
This isn’t the flashy matchup of Luis Severino and Shane McClanahan that we’ll get for the finale on Sunday, but it’s an intriguing one nonetheless, and any Rays-Yankees showdown is worthy of attention.
How to watch:
Location: Tropicana Field — St. Petersburg, FL
First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV Broadcast: Baily Sports Sun
Radio Broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280; WTMP, WDAE 620AM/95.3 FM
Online Stream: Amazon Prime Video, MLB.tv