Tampa Bay snapped a five-game home losing streak to the Yankees with a come-from-behind 4-2 win yesterday. The Rays now trail New York by just three games for the AL East lead. They could further close the gap by winning the remaining two games of this four-game set against the Yankees. But that’s easier said than done especially against the Yankees’ big bats, which have scored the second most runs in the majors (160).
Can the Rays add another big win over the AL East leaders? Read on for a breakdown of this crucial divisional showdown. Check out our complete previews for the Mets vs. Cubs and Twins vs. Tigers to complete your daily fix of baseball action.[sc:MLBArticles ]
New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays Preview
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
When: Wednesday, May 13, 7:10 PM ET
Line: New York Yankees (EVEN) at Tampa Bay Rays (-110); total 7.5 – view all MLB lines
Betting on the New York Yankees
“We’re not going to win them all,” said Jacoby Ellsbury after Tuesday night’s defeat to the Tampa Bay Rays. Even after the loss, New York stands at 6-2 in the season series. Ellsbury has shone against Tampa Bay this season, hitting .419 through the seven games he’s played against the Rays. He’s reached base in all games thus far, a swell job for the Yankees’ leadoff hitter.
[sc:MLB240banner ]The Yankees could gain more production at the plate with cleanup hitter Mark Teixeira back after a day off. He has gone 4-for-14 with a double, a homer, five RBIs and three runs scored at Tropicana Field this season.
Alex Rodriguez could also drive in some runs. Mostly hitting third in the order, 13 of A-Rod’s 20 RBIs for the season have come with runners on base. A-Rod has gone 6-for-14 with a double, three homers, five RBIs and eight runs scored at Tropicana Field this year.
Getting enough run support will be crucial for the Yankees if starter Adam Warren (2-1, 4.65 ERA) struggles against the Rays once again. Warren allowed four earned runs on six hits (including two homers) in just four innings of a 5-4 New York win at Tampa Bay on April 17. He didn’t receive a decision.
Warren has routinely struggled on the road this season, allowing four earned runs in each of his three starts away from home. But the Yankees’ bullpen has bailed him out on those starts, all wins. The bullpen surrendered just one earned run over 10.2 innings in relief of Warren in his three road starts.
The Yankees have won seven of their last 10 on the road.
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Betting on the Tampa Bay Rays
After snapping a home losing skid to the Yankees, the Rays can now start a win streak tonight through a solid effort from starter Nathan Karns (2-1, 3.79 ERA) and some power at the plate.
After allowing 14 earned runs in his first four starts of the season, Karns has surrendered just three across his last three starts. Karns pitched five strong innings, with two earned runs and seven strikeouts in his first start against the Yankees this season, but went just 4.2 innings in his latest start against them on April 27. Karns has limited the Yankees’ order to hit just .143 against him in his career.
Karns did show that he can remain deep into games in his last start. He allowed just two earned runs in seven-plus innings in an 8-2 home win against Texas. Another solid and deep effort should be a big help for closer Brad Boxberger to seal the game. He is 9-for-9 in save opportunities so far this season.
Karns could count on some run support from Tampa Bay’s batting order. James Loney has hit 4-of-9 with a homer in his career against the Yankees’ Warren. Evan Longoria should also deliver a couple of timely hits. He’s hitting .308 lifetime against the New York starter.
David DeJesus has been a pleasant surprise at the plate for the Rays this season. He has hit 10-of-20 with a double, a homer and five RBIs in his last seven games to bring his batting average to a team-high .311. He knocked in a pair of runs in Tuesday’s 4-2 victory to start Tampa Bay’s rally.
Tampa Bay has won seven of its last 10 at home.
Tampa Bay (-110) wins behind a solid effort from Karns.[sc:MLB490banner ]
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