Yankees – Rays Series Preview
The Yankees won another series in Toronto and now head to Tampa Bay for three games. The Rays, fresh off a three-game sweep of the Athletics in which they outscored Oakland 17-4, are riding high. Here is a preview of the upcoming series between the 2nd place Yanks and 4th place Rays in terms of the AL East division.
The Yankees have scored runs with small ball and long ball over the last three series and have won a variety of different ways. The Rays are built on pitching and the timely hit. Their pitchers attack the strike zone. The key for New York in this series is to manufacture runs, get to Tampa Bay's bullpen and make sure that Mariano Rivera comes in late in games. Fernando Rodney, closer of the Rays, is horrendous, to be kind.
Players to watch: Night one's pitching match-up. It is that simple. Matt Moore is unbeaten at 3-0. CC Sabathia has three straight wins after getting knocked around in the season's opener vs. Boston. Moore may be the ace of this staff in the very near future if the team cannot financially keep David Price.
Pitching match-ups: Monday: Sabathia vs. Moore. Tuesday: Phil Hughes vs. David Price. Wednesday: Pettitte vs. Alex Cobb.
Prediction: Tampa Bay takes two of three. The Rays have Price and Moore in this one and Cobb is no slouch. The Yanks will have plenty of fans in Tampa as per usual, but strange things usually happen in Yanks-Rays series in favor of the home team.
By: Mike Lindsley, "Mid-Day with Mike," 1-4, Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio. Follow him on Twitter @MikeLSports.