To kick-off the second-half of the baseball season the New York Yankees will play host to the Tampa Bay Rays.
It’s number one vs. number two team of not only the AL East, but across the MLB.
Entering the All-Star break the Yankees lead the Rays by two games, but this series will be watched because it sets a tone for which team is better. It’s a great reality check for the Rays to show their stuff, as this battle might go down to the wire.
Pitching will dictate the series, so let’s break down the two AL East Rival weekend match-ups:
Sabathia has won his last eight starts, pitching a minimum of seven innings and a 2.37 ERA. Sabathia has 12 wins this season and at the break was the best pitcher in the AL. Sabathia is historically better in the second-half, so expect big things for the ace.
Sabathia will face James Shields who has not had the best first-half with a 7-9 record and an ERA of 4.20. Shields has 109 strike-outs and issued only 26 walks. That makes for a great strike-outs to walks ratio, which shows the youngster has the stuff to be much better.
Winner: CC SABATHIA has the advantage as everything from velocity to location is working great. The Yankee bats cannot go silent, as Yankees middle relievers tend to give up runs.
AJ Burnett vs. Jeff Niemann
Burnett is 7-7 with a 4.75 ERA so far, but it is no secret that is just fresh off his worst down period in his career. Burnett has to continue using his change-up more because it wins. Last time Burnett faced the Rays was not pretty, but it’s a waiting game to see what Burnett we will get. Continue reading ‘MLB Weekend Matchups: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays’ »