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Tampa Bay Rays versus the New York Yankees Series Preview

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May 10, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash (16) and center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) talk in the dugout against the Kansas City Royals at Tropicana Field.Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Kansas City Royals 12-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
May 10, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash (16) and center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) talk in the dugout against the Kansas City Royals at Tropicana Field.Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Kansas City Royals 12-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Tampa Bay Rays return home to begin a seven-game homestand on Friday night, and starting things off will be the AL East Division leaders New York Yankees in town for a three-game weekend series.

This weekend the New York Yankees are traveling to St. Petersburg to face the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-game series.  Currently the Yankees (24-13) are at the top of the division and are up six games up on the Rays (21-22), but this can all change this weekend.

Baltimore is only a game and a half behind the Yankees and they face a bad Toronto team.  While Toronto is still in the basement of the American League East, they are starting to turn things around with a record of 6-4 over their past ten games.  Also the Tampa Bay Rays are on Boston’s heels and is only two games behind them.  So after this weekend the division standings could look completely different.

The Yankees and Rays have played each other six times this season.  With the Yankees leading the series 4-2.  However, the games this weekend will be played at Tropicana Field where the Rays are 2-1 against the Yankees this year.

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The first game of this series will be played Friday night, May 19 at 7:10 p.m.  It will feature the pitching match-up of Luis Severino for the Yankees and Erasmo Ramirez for the Rays.  Severino currently has a record of 2-2 and an ERA of 3.86 and has a 1-0 record against the Rays this season.  He pitched the last time these teams faced off on April 13.

Ramirez was brought into the rotation last week after promising young pitcher Blake Snell was demoted back to AAA.  However, Ramirez has some starting experience in the past and actually started a game this season against the Detroit Tigers.  In that game he pitched five innings and only allowed two hits and one run while striking out five batters.  While it has been mainly bullpen work, Ramirez has a record of 2-0 with an ERA of 2.92.  Hopefully Ramirez can have another strong performance and secure his spot in the rotation.

The second game of this weekend series will take place on Saturday, May 20 at 4:10 pm.  The pitching match-up for this game will be Masahiro Tanaka vs. Matt Andriese.  Tanaka how shown some promise this season as a true ace and other times it looks like he is pitching in a home run derby.

He currently has a 5-2 record but with a high ERA of 5.80.  He also faced the Rays on Opening Day and lost that game after allowing eight hits and seven runs in only 2.2 innings of work.  Pitching for the Rays is Andriese who has been a solid starter in the rotation this season.  He currently has a 3-1 record and an ERA of 3.18.  The outcome of this game will depend greatly on how Tanaka pitches.

The final game of the weekend will be played on Sunday, May 22 at 1:10 p.m.  This game will feature CC Sabathia vs. Chris Archer.  Sabathia was an ace for most of his career but now is close to retirement and is no longer the ace and Archer is the Rays ace and is just beginning his career. So it is an interesting match-up between young and old aces.

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Sabathia currently has a record of 3-2 and an ERA of 4.93.  He did however beat the Rays once already on the second game of the season.  In that win Sabathia pitched five-innings and allowed three hits but put up a goose egg in the run category.  Archer also faced the Yankees this season, pitching against them on Opening Day and picked up the win.

In that game Archer threw for seven innings and allowed seven hits, but gave up only two-runs while having five strikeouts.  Currently Archer has a record of 3-2 and an ERA of 3.70 and is fifth in the MLB with 65 strikeouts.  All in all this will be a great match-up and could end up being the rubber game of the series.

Besides the great pitching match-ups this weekend, this series will also feature three of the hottest hitters in baseball.  That is Aaron Judge and Starlin Castro of the Yankees and Corey Dickerson for the Tampa Bay Rays.  Currently Judge is first in the majors with 14 home runs, fifth in slugging percentage with .720, fifth in runs scored with 32 and tenth in on base percentage with .426. Castro currently is first in the majors with 38 singles, first in hits with 54, sixth in batting average hitting .351 and seventh in runs scored with 29.

For the Tampa Bay Rays, Logan Morrison is tenth in the Majors with 11 home runs but he isn’t the hottest hitter on the team.  That goes to Corey Dickerson who has nine home runs to go along with being second in the MLB with 53 hits, fifth with 23 extra base hits and seventh with 12 doubles.  All of these players should be together in July at the All-Star game. With these players helping the two teams are also tied for third in the MLB in home runs with 59 each.

Next: Dickerson Increases His All-Star Chances as Rays Rep

So make sure you head to Tropicana Field this weekend to cheer on your Rays because you know a lot of Yankees fans will be there.

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