We all know that the Rays used to be a cellar dwelling team, especially in the franchise's "Devil Rays" infancy. That was when the Yankees feasted off of their horrid play, and up until 2010, the Yankees only had one season with a losing record against them (In 2005 they had a head-to-head record of 8-11). The Yankees have now started their season with a head-to-head record of 6-1, and they are just three wins away from matching their highest win total against them in the past five years.
But continuing their winning ways will be a bit more difficult tonight, as the Rays will not only have home field advantage but one of their best starting pitchers in Chris Archer on the hill. Archer comes into tonight with 2.59 ERA, 2.83 FIP, and 3.46 DRA (Deserved Run Average), good for 1.1 fWAR and 0.86 WARP; his WARP is the 15th best among all pitchers in baseball. He is coming off of two sub-par starts after he allowed a combined nine earned runs in 9 1/3 innings against both the Rangers and Orioles.
Nathan Eovaldi will oppose him, and he has the stuff to make himself one of the best pitchers in baseball, but he'll need to figure out the type of pitcher he is before that can happen. He comes into tonight with a 3.97 ERA, 4.47 FIP, and 4.93 DRA, so while the results have been a touch better than league average, his peripherals have yet to fall in line. Let's hope that his decent results continue tonight.
The Yankees have now won 18 of their last 24 games, and arbitrary endpoints aside, that is impressive. Tonight they hope to put some more distance between themselves and an AL East rival, and continue their winning ways.
|NEW YORK YANKEES||TAMPA BAY RAYS|
|Jacoby Ellsbury - CF||Kevin Kiermaier - CF|
|Brett Gardner - LF||Steven Souza - RF|
|Alex Rodriguez - DH||Evan Longoria - 3B|
|Brian McCann - C||James Loney - 1B|
|Carlos Beltran - RF||Logan Forsythe - 2B|
|Chase Headley - 3B||David DeJesus - DH|
|Stephen Drew - 2B||Asdrubal Cabrera - SS|
|Garrett Jones - 1B||Brandon Guyer - LF|
|Didi Gregorius - SS||Rene Rivera - C|
|Nathan Eovaldi - RHP||Chris Archer - RHP|