The New York Yankees are on a tear winning 10 of last 11 games, and are 3.5 games back in the AL Wild Card standings.
Back on the road for the next six games the Yankees will play three down in Tampa Bay vs. the Rays before heading up to Canada to face the Blue Jays, who they have an 12-1 record against on the season.
As in their minds, the Yankees are already playing in playoff-like games because they need to win all these games to earn a chance for when it counts.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Obviously the Rays are leading the AL East so the Yankees can gain with getting some more W’s this weekend.
Both teams’ homes are domes.
The Rogers Centre’s roof is retractable, and the Yankees have been a nightmare for the Blue Jays so not as much a concern.
Tropicana Field roof is closed and the place should be burned down but that is my issue here.
My worry is the artificial turf, which is actually used on both fields, as they are the last two stadiums in all of MLB that still play on the fake stuff.
Artificial turf is much tougher on the players physically because it has concrete underneath so it is not as flexible as natural grass.
It also elevates the field’s temperature making it about 20 degrees hotter; and it hurts a lot more to slide on than the real deal.
Playing at the dumpy Trop against a really good Rays team has been tough for the Yankees.
The Rays are good…
Since 2012, the Yankees have gone 14-17 at ‘the Trop’, and it is certainly not one the team’s top favorite places to play.
Yankees are back to themselves…
This is a different Yankees team the Rays faced earlier this season. Not the offensively anemic one that Tampa starter Chris Archer threw a complete game, shutout against back in July.
Sabathia stinks even more in Tampa…
Saturday’s match-up between CC Sabathia vs. David Price would normally be the must see but not with the way the Yankees ace has been throwing this season.
Sabathia has gone 1-3 in his four starts vs. the Rays. He is posting a whooping 8.31 ERA, giving up 24 earned runs, eight homers and seven walks, while fanning 21. The Rays line-up has a .294 batting average when Sabathia is on the bump, so Price, last year’s AL CY Young winner, has clear advantage here.
Bottom line is this is a HUGE series for New York just to bad it is not in the Bronx.
But as the saying goes:
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”