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New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays: Carlos Rodón vs. Zack Littell

Can the Yankees’ southpaw make it two decent starts in a row?

New York Yankees v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Just when the Yankees hitters were giving fans a reason to tune in, they ran into Tyler Glasnow and the high-leverage relievers in the Rays bullpen, getting shutout, 3-0, while managing just two hits on the afternoon. They still have a chance for their first series win since the third week of July against the Royals, and they’ll have a decent shot facing a starter who loves to pound the strike zone.

Carlos Rodón logged his best start as a Yankee his last time out, holding the Nationals to a run on six hits in six innings. It’s still a far cry from the pitcher of the last two seasons, with the strikeout rate roughly half and walk rate roughly double the mark from 2021 and 2022 combined. He’s also three home runs away from matching his total from all of last season in just over one sixth of the innings pitched. In seven starts, Rodón is 1-4 with a 6.27 ERA (68 ERA+), 7.06 FIP, and 26 strikeouts in 33 innings.

Zack Littell has performed admirably in a hybrid role for the Rays since coming over from the Red Sox on May 12th, with a 3.99 ERA and 3.53 FIP with Tampa. He’s tied for the second-lowest walk rate (3.2 percent) among all pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched but also finds himself in the bottom five percent of the league in hard hit rate and exit velocity. He throws a fastball in the mid-90s and turns to a slider-splitter combo after getting ahead in the count. In 19 games (eight starts), Littell is 2-4 with a 4.27 ERA (98 ERA+), 3.61 FIP, and 45 strikeouts in 49.2 innings.

The Yankees make three changes to the lineup that got shutout yesterday afternoon. Oswaldo Cabrera replaces Giancarlo Stanton in right, bumping rookie Everson Pereira up to the cleanup spot. Kyle Higashioka replaces Ben Rortvedt behind the plate while Harrison Bader reclaims center from Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Oswald Peraza remains in the lineup at third base.

How to watch

Location: Tropicana Field — St. Petersburg, FL

First pitch: 1:40 pm ET

TV broadcast: Amazon Prime Video — NYY / Bally Sports Sun — WSH

Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280

Online stream: (out-of-market only)

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