The New York Yankees were supposed to look human with this current run in their schedule. Even for the more optimistic fans, the .746 winning percentage was expected to take a small hit going up against the upper echelon of the American League.
However, it is the other way around. Contenders all around the AL are taking a hit as they face the 50-17 New York Yankees, winners of 10 of their last 11 against the likes of Minnesota, Tampa Bay, and Toronto.
Following up a pitching duel worthy of the last two teams to win the AL East in a full season, these two contenders get the set for the second game of the series at the Trop. Last night, Gerrit Cole and Shane McClanahan combined for 20 strikeouts in 13.1 innings, and the Yankees came out victorious by the score of 4-2. With another W tonight, the Yankees will put one more series win in their pocket.
While the Yankees come in scorching hot, the Rays need a win to bounce back. The reigning back-to-back AL East champs have lost 8 of their previous 10, allowing the Boston Red Sox to pass them in the standings; they’re down in fourth place for the first time since April 19th. In addition to no Wander Franco or Brandon Lowe, they’re now also down Kevin Kiermaier and Manuel Margot, who both went on the injured list after leaving early yesterday.
Nestor Cortes takes the mound for the Yankees, continuing his masterful 2022 campaign, and the Rays counter with a bullpen game. Jalen Beeks is the scheduled opener for Tampa. The previous two times in which Beeks served in this role for the Rays (including against New York on June 16th), the southpaw went a couple of innings before turning it over to the ‘pen.
Aaron Judge gets his first day off since May 16th as the Yankees get their MVP frontrunner off the turf tonight. They’ll play Marwin Gonzalez/Aaron Hicks/Joey Gallo from left-to-right in the outfield with Giancarlo Stanton DHing. Also of note is Gleyber Torres getting his first start of the year at shortstop with Isiah Kiner-Falefa still a little dinged up. The Yankees could’ve started Gonzalez at shortstop instead, but they clearly want to see if Torres can handle it in a pinch if needed.
How to watch
Location: Tropicana Field —- St Petersburg, Florida
First pitch: 7:10 pm EDT
TV Broadcast: YES, Bally Sports Sun
Radio Broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv
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Nestor Night in St. Pete #RepBX— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 21, 2022
Presented by @Hilton pic.twitter.com/jvLquk4M1k
#Rays lineup, without KK and Margot, vs. #Yankees: pic.twitter.com/dpwgM3ozqd— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) June 21, 2022