Thursday, September 22, 2016

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays 9/22

The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays will finish off their series today with the finale of their three-game set inside Tropicana Field. The Yankees lost much of what they were fighting for this season in that Boston series over the weekend taking much of the wind out of the sails for the Rays who looked to be spoilers for the remainder of the season. The Yankees kept fighting despite that tough series and Boston and will presumably keep fighting until Rob Manfred and the MLB schedule makers tell them to go home for the long winter ahead. That includes today’s contest which will showcase Luis Cessa taking the mound for the Yankees against Blake Snell for the Rays.

Cessa has taken the loss in each of his last two starts after not notching a loss as a starter for the entire season prior but the Yankees right-hander pitched well enough to win in both of those statistical losses. The last time the Rays faced Cessa they tee’d off on him for three home runs giving him his first loss of his Major League career on September 11th so hopefully Cessa made the adjustments necessary before tonight’s rematch.

Snell hasn’t been especially sharp in his last five starts and has not seen the sixth inning in four of those five starts including his last start against the Baltimore Orioles. In that start Snell lasted just 4.1 innings and is due in large part to a struggle to find the strike zone in recent starts.

The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Tropicana Field and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV. This will be the final time the Yankees see Tampa Bay this season and if they want to look for a reason why they aren’t making the postseason in 2016 they don’t have to look any farther than the Rays. The Rays are a last place team, now granted they aren’t your typical last place team that you can beat up on with Alex Cobb back and Chris Archer still a good pitcher despite pushing for 20 losses this season, and playoffs teams beat the teams they are supposed to beat. The Yankees are supposed to beat the Rays and they didn’t and that’s a huge reason why they aren’t heading to the postseason this season. Right a wrong, beat the Rays. Go Yankees!

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)