With the Yankees adding the biggest free agent on the market to an already stacked roster, we take a look at how the pitching staff of the biggest threat in the AL East stacks up against the Tampa Bay Rays’ bats.
A wise philosopher once said, “in order to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man! Wooo!”
After going 7-12 against the 2019 AL-East Champion New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays hope to have made enough moves to give the Yankees a run for their money in 2020. Let’s take a look at how the Rays have performed against the Yankees’ top four starting pitchers in their careers.
Rays’ hitters have 76 career at-bats against Gerrit Cole in his career. They have slashed .224/.268/.368 against him with 30 strikeouts. Mike Zunino has the most career at-bats against the stud with 16, in those opportunities he has two hits and zero home runs.
Yandy Diaz only has three at-bats against the ace but he has two hits and one homer in his limited chances. Newly acquired Jose Martinez is slashing .375/.444/.500 against the highly paid pitcher. Ji-Man Choi has 2.067 OPS in his five at-bats.
Masahiro Tanaka has faced the Rays a lot over the years and of the current players on the Rays roster, they are slashing a combined .243/.283/.438. It’s better than the results against Cole so far.
Kevin Kiermaier leads Tampa Bay in at-bats against the split-baller and also has one of the more impressive slash lines against him. Kiermaier is hitting .265/.306/.441 against the former Yankee ace.
Mike Zunino needs to be in the lineup against Tanaka. In 21 career at-bats, Zunino has a .286 average with a .985 OPS.
Austin Meadows is slugging .545 against him.
The Tampa Bay Rays have 63 at-bats against Luis Severino resulting in a .222 total average with a .633 OPS. Kiermaier again has the most at-bats.
Unlike his results against Tanaka, it’s not good. KK is only hitting .120 against Severino with a .305 OPS. Joey Wendle is next on the list in at-bats with 12 but is only hitting .167.
Daniel Robertson has the Rays’ only home run against the Yankees starter.
James Paxton has limited opportunities against the Rays and he has severely limited them in those chances.
In 34 total at-bats, the current Rays’ players only have six hits off of the big left-hander. Current Rays’ players are slashing .176/.176/.206 against Paxton with 16 strikeouts in 34 at-bats.
It’s no doubt the Yankees have a stacked starting rotation, but so do the Rays. It should be interesting to see these two teams go at it this season.
Will the Rays overcome the Yankees starting pitching in 2020?