Here we go. With the division lead down to under five games and the recent results of these two teams meeting up a week ago at the Trop fresh in everyone’s minds, the Yankees have a second chance to stabilize their lead. This is the last time that the Yankees and Rays will go head to head in the regular season, so the Rays can’t complete the comeback even if all goes wrong in this series alone, but it’s also the last chance the Yankees have to keep them at arm’s length — any continued stumbling down the stretch will invite their rivals to close the gap, and any wins won’t guarantee that they gain ground.
Frankie Montas has the honor of opening this series up, and it’ll be his second time in a week facing this lineup. Montas had easily his best performance as a Yankee the last time he faced the Rays, allowing just a single hit and striking out seven in five innings of work. His season numbers in pinstripes still aren’t great, but perhaps Montas can build off of his last outing and turn things around in the final month of play. The Yankees certainly need him to come through for them tonight.
Tampa Bay counters with Drew Rasmussen, who has quietly put together a solid campaign behind Shane McClanahan and Corey Kluber. His 0.77 HR/9 rate is the best of the Rays’ rotation, something that Aaron Judge will put to the test if the Rays actually pitch to him. Rasmussen owns a 2.70 ERA and 3.23 FIP across 23 starts, and his last start was a strong six innings of one-run ball against Miami.
The Yankees shuffled up the roster a bit, placing Jose Trevino on the paternity list a day after Josh Donaldson sat for the same reason. Ben Rortvedt was called up in his place, meaning we’ll finally get to see the mystery catcher who was supposed to be on the Opening Day roster once upon a time. On the other side, the Rays have activated Wander Franco from his rehab stint in the minors and reinstated him for this series.
How to watch
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 7:05 pm ET
TV broadcast: Amazon Prime Video, Bally Sports Sun
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1380
Online stream: MLB.tv (out-of-market, only)