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New York Yankees versus Tampa Bay Rays. Top two teams in the AL East battle for the lead

The New York Yankees sit in second place in the AL West with a record of 21-15, two games behind the Tampa Bay Rays, who have a 23-13 record this season.  C.C. Sabathia is scheduled to pitch for the Yankees, while Blake Snell will be on the mound for the Rays.

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Offensive comparisons

The Yankees have hit 55 home runs and are averaging 5.1 runs per game.  The duo of Gary Sanchez and Luke Voit have been potent, hitting a combined 21 home runs and 50 RBI. Brett Gardner and Clint Frazier have added six home runs and Gleyber Torres has five. The Yankees have done well considering they are without Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and several others, who are on the injured list.

The Rays are averaging a solid 4.7 runs per game, hitting .255 with 42 home runs. Brandon Lowe had been the best overall hitter on the club, hitting .304 with eight home runs and 22 RBI. Auston Meadows leads the team in batting average at .351 and has added six home runs. Vandy Diaz adds a significant power threat with seven home runs and 18 RBI, while Tommy Pham provides the total package of power (6 home runs), hitting (.301 average) and speed (6 stolen bases).

Pitching comparisons

C.C. Sabathia is a five-inning pitcher these days, but he’s been solid, posting a 2-1 record and 3.20 ERA. He’s allowed only 20 hits in 25 1/3 innings but has given up six home runs, which is more than two per nine innings. Luis Cessa has stepped up in the bull pen, pitching to a 3.32 ERA in 19 innings. Tommy Kahnle and Aroldis Chapman have allowed a combined five earned runs in 26 2/3 innings. As a unit, the Yankees have been above average in terms of runs allowed, at 4.2 per game.

For the Rays, Blake Snell is 3-3 with a 3.62 ERA, striking out 50 in 37 1/3 innings, allowing only 27 hits and nine walks. The only time he seems to get into trouble is giving up the long ball, allowing six home runs this season.  As a team, the Rays have allowed only 3.1 runs per game, much due to a dominant bullpen. Diego Castillo, Jose Alvarado and Emilio Pagan have 11 saves, 60 strikeouts in 44 innings and an ERA of 1.43.

Prediction

This will be the middle game of the weekend series with the Yankees having the opportunity to catch the Rays. Blake Snell is a tough pitcher for the Yankees lineup. Their only chance is if Snell makes some mistakes that can be taken deep. This could be a relatively low scoring game, likely going with the “under” if betting the “over/under”. As for the outcome of the game, the edge goes to the Rays to narrowly escape with the win.

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