Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Fantasy Guru - Baseball

MLB Preview: New York Yankees (17-15) at Tampa Bay Rays (26-6)

NEW YORK YANKEES NOTES:

AT A GLANCE: The Yankees begin a three-game road trip to Tampa Bay tonight (through Sun.)…after this series, will return home for a seven-game homestand that includes a three-game series vs. Oakland (Mon.-Wed.) and a four-game set against Tampa Bay (5/11-14).

Have won or split seven of their 10 series this season (going 6-3-1).

Have won back-to-back games after losing a season-high four straight games.

Will play seven of their next 10 games vs. the Rays.

Will play 11 of their next 14 games and 14 of their next 20 games against the AL East.

Tonight begins a 17-day stretch without an off day (5/5- 21)…are also in a 34-day stretch with just one off day (4/18-5/21).

WHERE WE LEFT OFF: The Yankees recorded their third “walk-off” win of the season with a 4-3 victory in 10 innings on Wednesday vs. Cleveland…RHP Clarke Schmidt (4.1IP, 6H, 2R/0ER, 2BB, 4K, 0HR) started and did not record a decision…PH Jose Trevino (1-for-1, 1RBI) hit a pinch-hit “walk-off” single in the 10th inning, his fourth career “walkoff” hit and his third with the Yankees…DH Willie Calhoun (2-for-3, 1R, 1HR, 2RBI, 1BB) hit a solo HR in the fifth inning and a game-tying RBI single in the ninth inning…RF Jake Bauers (1-for-3, 1R, 1HR, 1RBI, 1BB) hit a game-tying solo HR in fifth inning, his first HR since 9/19/21 at Kansas City with Seattle…1B Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4) recorded his second straight multi-hit game…RHP Ian Hamilton (1.2IP, 2K) tossed 1.2 scoreless innings…RHP Jimmy Cordero (1.0IP, 1H) tossed a scoreless seventh inning…RHP Ron Marinaccio (1.2IP, 2K) retired all 5BF…RHP Clay Holmes (0.1IP, 2H, 1ER, 1WP) allowed a game-tying RBI single to Oscar Gonzalez in the ninth inning…RHP Albert Abreu (1.0IP, 1IBB, 1K) recorded his first win of the season after tossing a scoreless 10th inning…CF Harrison Bader and PR Oswald Peraza both exited the game in the ninth inning due to injury.

ON A ROLL: OF Willie Calhoun hit a solo HR in the fifth inning and a game-tying RBI single in the ninth inning on Wednesday vs. Cleveland…has homered in back-to-back games for the third time in his career (also 2G from 5/15-16/19 and 8/23-24/19 with Texas)…prior to this week, had not homered since 4/11/22 vs. Colorado with Texas.

Has hit safely in six of his last seven starts, batting .360 (9-for25) with 3R, 2HR, 5RBI, 1BB and 1SF in that span (since 4/25).

BIGGER THAN BASEBALL: This weekend, the Yankees and Rays will wear green ribbons on their uniforms in support of mental health awareness month.

NOBODY BEATS THE RIZZ: INF Anthony Rizzo has recorded multiple hits in each of his last two games…is batting .300 (27-for-90) with 11R, 4 doubles, 4HR, 10RBI, 6BB and 4HP in his last 24 games (since 4/9).

Has reached base in 26 of his first 31 games this season.

BRONX BOMBERS: Yankees batters have hit 5HR in their last three games after going homerless in their previous three games and hitting 4HR over their previous seven games (4/24-30).

RISPY BUSINESS: Yankees batters have hit .350 (7-for-20) with RISP over their last four games (since 4/30).

JAKE RAKES: INF/OF Jake Bauers hit his first home run as a Yankee on Wednesday with a game-tying solo HR in fifth inning…marked his first HR since 9/19/21 at Kansas City with Seattle.

PITCH PERFECT: Yankees pitchers have allowed 3R-orfewer in four of their last five games, five of their last seven games and 19-of-32 games this season.

Their 3.53 ERA (283.0IP, 111ER) this season is the sixth-lowest in the Majors.

LEMACHINE: INF DJ LeMahieu went 4-for-12 (.333) with 2RBI during the three-game set vs. Cleveland.

Has hit .409/.440/.500 (9-for-22) with 2 doubles, 10RBI, 2BB and 1SF with RISP this season.

HIP HIP JOSE: C Jose Trevino hit a pinch-hit “walk-off” single in the 10th inning on Wednesday vs. Cleveland…marked his fourth career “walk-off” hit and his third with the Yankees (also a “walk-off” single in the 13th inning on 6/10/22 vs. Chicago-NL, a “walk-off” single in the 11th inning on 5/24/22 vs. Baltimore and a “walk-off” single in the ninth inning on 6/17/18 vs. Colorado with Texas).

Was the second pinch-hit “walk-off” hit by a Yankee this season (also DJ LeMahieu’s “walk-off” single in the ninth inning on 4/22 vs. Toronto)…was the first pinch-hit “walkoff” hit by a Yankee in extra innings since his own “walkoff” single in the 13th inning on 6/10/22 vs. Chicago-NL).

Is batting .333/.364/.619 (7-for-21) with 2R, 2HR, 3RBI and 1BB in his last seven games (since 4/24).

Is batting .316 (6-for-19) with 1 double and 6RBI with RISP this year…as a Yankee (since 2022), has hit .348 (39- for-112) with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 2HR, 37RBI, 6BB, 1HP and 1SF.

WHAT A RELIEF: Yankees relievers have posted a 2.77 ERA (117.0IP, 36ER) this season, the third-lowest ERA in the Majors, trailing only Tampa Bay (2.75) and Seattle (2.76)… also rank second in the Majors in opponents’ BA (.200) and fifth in opponents’ SLG (.325), opponents’ OPS (.626) and HR/9.0IP (0.69).

RHP Ian Hamilton has gone 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA (11.2IP, 1ER) and 12K over his last seven games (since 4/13)…has held opponents to a .083/.175/.083 (3-for-36) slash line over that span…his 21K this season are tied for the sixthmost in the AL among relievers.

RHP Ron Marinaccio ranks fourth among Major League relievers with a .089 opponents’ BA (4-for-45)…has struck out 20-of-55 batters faced this season and has posted a 12.86 K/9.0IP (20K/14.0IP)…has recorded multiple strikeouts in eight of his 12 appearances this year.

RHP Michael King has recorded two saves with a 0.57 ERA (15.2IP, 1ER) and 17K over his last eight appearances (since 4/4)…has recorded at least four outs in each of his first nine relief appearances, tied for the fifth-longest streak by a Yankees reliever to start a season…trails his own 15-game season-opening streak as a reliever in 2021, Ron Davis’ 14-game streak in 1980, Stubby Overmire’s 10-game streak in 1951 and Joe Page’s 10-game streak in 1950…his nine appearances of at least four outs are tied for the most in the Majors…his seven scoreless appearances of at least 1.1IP are also tied for the most in the Majors.

RHP Michael King and RHP Ian Hamilton have both tossed 17.1 innings this season without allowing a HR, tied for the fourth-most innings among Major League relievers who have not surrendered a HR this year.

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: INF Anthony Volpe is batting .294 (10-for-34) with 5R, 2 doubles, 1HR, 5RBI, 3BB and 2SB over his last nine starts (since 4/24).

Is 10-for-10 in stolen base attempts this season… according to Elias, he is the third player to begin his Major League career with the Yankees and record his first 10SB without being caught(since 1921, when caught stealing was first recorded in the American League)…joins Joe DiMaggio (first 12SB with 0CS from 1936-38) and Buddy Rosar (first 10SB with 0CS from 1939-40).

Joins Cedric Mullins (11-for-11) as the only two players to go 10-for-10-or-better in stolen base attempts this season.

His 10SB are the fourth-most in the AL and tied for the eighth-most in the Majors.

Has reached base in 17 of his last 20 starts (since 4/12).

FAST AND FURIOUS: Yankees baserunners have stolen multiple bases in each of their last two games…their 27SB are the fifth-most in the AL…match their most through their first 32 games of a season in the last 22 years since 2002 (also 27SB in 2010 and 2017)…the last time they recorded more was when they recorded 42SB in their first 32 games in 2001.

Did not record their 27th stolen base in 2022 until their 51st game on 6/2/22 (Game 2) vs. Los Angeles-AL.

HAWAIIAN PUNCH: INF/OF Isiah Kiner-Falefa has hit safely in 10 of his last 13 starts (since 4/10).

TONIGHT’S STARTING PITCHER: RHP JHONY BRITO (2-3, 5.56 ERA)
RHP Jhony Brito will make his seventh career Major League start tonight at Tampa Bay…the 25-year-old will pitch on extended five days’ rest due to Thursday’s team off day…took his third loss of the season in his last start on Saturday at Texas despite allowing just 2ER over 5.0IP (4H, 1BB, 5K, 1HR)… marked his fourth start this season allowing 2ER-or-fewer and his fifth start allowing 4H-or-fewer…is just the third pitcher in Yankees history to allow 4H-or-fewer in five of his first six career starts, joining Dave Righetti (five such starts from 1979-81) and Luis Gil (five such starts in 2021)…became the first pitcher in franchise history to allow 3H-or-fewer in four of his first five career starts…became the first pitcher in Yankees history to throw at least 5.0IP, allow 3H-or-fewer and allow 1R-or-fewer in each of his first two career Major League starts…was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre on 3/30 and made his first career Opening Day roster…over parts of five minor league seasons in the Yankees organization (2016-17, ’19, ’21-22), has gone 26-21 with two saves and a 3.71 ERA (392.2IP, 375H, 196R/162ER, 81BB, 344K, 28HR) in 86 career appearances (70 starts)…was signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on 11/9/15.

LAST TIME OUT: Took his third loss of the season last Saturday at Texas despite allowing just 2ER over 5.0IP (4H, 1BB, 5K, 1HR)…surrendered a two-run home run to Ezequiel Durán in the fifth inning…marked his fourth start this season allowing 2ER-or-fewer and his fifth start allowing 4H-or-fewer. 2023: Is 2-3 with a 5.56 ERA (22.2IP, 14ER) and 17K in six starts this season…has allowed 1R-or-fewer in three of his six starts…has allowed 3H-or-fewer in four of his six starts.

Not including his start on 4/13 vs. Minnesota in which he allowed a career-high 7R over 0.2IP, has a 2.86 ERA (22.0IP, 7ER) and 17K in his other five starts this season.

Is just the third pitcher in Yankees history to allow 4H-or-fewer in five of his first six career starts, joining Dave Righetti (five such starts from 1979-81) and Luis Gil (five such starts in 2021).

Took the loss on 4/24 at Minnesota after allowing 3ER over 2.2IP (3H, 3BB, 1K)…marked his fourth start this season with 3H-or-fewer allowed… became the first pitcher in franchise history to allow 3H-or-fewer in four of their first five career starts.

Did not record a decision in the Yankees’ 3-2, extra-innings victory vs. Los Angeles-AL on 4/19 (4.1IP, 3H, 1ER, 3BB, 3K)…marked his third start this season with 1R allowed-or-fewer…became just the third pitcher in Yankees history to allow 1R-or-fewer in three of his first four career starts, joining Chase Whitley (three such starts in 2014) and Luis Gil (three such starts in 2021)…marked his third start this season with 3H allowed-or-fewer…becoming just the second Yankees pitcher in franchise history to allow 3H-or-fewer in three of their first four career starts (Luis Gil, three such starts in 2021).

Took his first career loss in the Yankees’ 11-2 defeat on 4/13 vs. Minnesota, allowing 7ER in 0.2IP (6H, 1BB, 0K, 1HR)…marked the shortest outing by a Yankees starter (not including openers) since Jameson Taillon on 6/12/21 at Philadelphia (0.1IP)…were the most runs allowed by a Yankees starter who didn’t make it out of the first inning since Nathan Eovaldi on 6/16/15 at Miami (8R/ER in 0.2IP).

Earned his second career win in the Yankees’ 4-1 victory on 4/8 at Baltimore, allowing just 1ER over 5.0IP (3H, 2BB, 2K)…retired 14 of his final 17BF after surrendering two singles and a sacrifice fly to his first 3BF…became the first pitcher in Yankees history to throw at least 5.0IP, allow 3H-or-fewer and allow 1R-or-fewer in each of his first two career Major League starts (also 5.0IP, 2H, 0R in his Major League debut on 4/2 vs. San Francisco).

Is just the seventh pitcher in Yankees history to toss at least 5.0IP and allow 1R-or-fewer in each of his first two career appearances, joining Cliff Markle (first five appearances from 1915-16), Luis Gil (first two in 2021), Orlando Hernández (first two in 1998), Rich Beck (first two in 1965), Jack Quinn (first two in 1909) and Slow Joe Doyle (first two in 1906)…is just the sixth to do so as a starter (Markle made his first career appearance as a reliever).

Became the 15th pitcher in franchise history to win each of his first two career starts and the first since Orlando Hernández in 1998.

HOME SWEET HOME: Is 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA (10.0IP, 8ER) and 9K in three career Major League starts at home.

Earned the win in his Major League debut on 4/2 vs. San Francisco at home (5.0IP, 2H, 0R, 1BB, 6K)…became just the third starting pitcher in franchise history to record a win in his Major League debut at the current Yankee Stadium (Luis Gil on 8/3/21 and Jonathan Loáisiga on 6/15/18).

In 13 home games (12 starts) with Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2022, went 6-1 with a 1.95 ERA (60.0IP, 13ER) and 43K.

TAMPA BAY RAYS NOTES:

BRINGING OUT THE BROOMS — Tampa Bay defeated Pittsburgh, 3-2, on Thursday afternoon at Tropicana Field to complete a three-game sweep of the Pirates…RHP Zach Eflin tossed 7.0 scoreless innings, scattering three hits with no walks and a season-high 10 strikeouts…the Rays registered all three of their runs via solo homers from LF Randy Arozarena (1-for-3, HR, RBI, R, BB), 1B Yandy Díaz (2-for-4, 2B, HR, RBI, R) and 2B Taylor Walls (1-for-3, HR, RBI, R).

Eflin has a winning streak of five games dating back to 6/25/22, marking the second-longest winning streak of his career (6G, 6/5-7/3, 2018)…it was his first career start in which he struck out 10+ batters without issuing a walk.

Arozarena recorded his 200th career RBI with his opposite field homer in the fourth inning…he has reached base safely in 15 straight games since 4/17, marking the third-longest stretch of his career (19G, 7/23-8/20, 2021 and 16G, 9/17/21-4/9/22).

Tampa Bay improved to 17-2 at Tropicana Field, becoming the third club since 1901 to win 17 of its first 19 home games, joining the 1972 Chicago White Sox and 1951 New York Yankees (both 17-2).

FIRST THINGS FIRST — The Rays are now 21-0 when plating the game’s opening run, surpassing the 1990 Cincinnati Reds (20G) for the longest winning streak when scoring first to open a season in the modern era (since 1900), according to Opta Stats…last season, Tampa Bay went 66-24 when scoring first.

THE BAY BOMBERS — The Rays have hit a major league-best 67 home runs, the second-most long balls through a club’s first 32 games in MLB history (since 1901), trailing only the 2000 St. Louis Cardinals (70HR)…Tampa Bay has out-homered opponents, 67-20 (+47)…its 20 homers allowed are the fewest in the majors, ahead of Seattle (22HR).

The Rays homered in each of their first 22 games, the longest streak to open a season in MLB history…marked the longest home run streak at any point in a single season since the 2019 Houston Astros (25G, 9/1-29, 2019).

Tampa Bay has an MLB-best 12 games this season with 3+ home runs, ahead of Los Angles-NL (10) and Atlanta/Los Angeles-AL (8).

The Rays have an MLB-best seven players with six or more homers, including Randy Arozarena (8), Yandy Díaz (8), Brandon Lowe (7), Luke Raley (7), Wander Franco (7), Josh Lowe (6) and Harold Ramírez (6)…the next closest team is Atlanta with five players.

HANDY RANDY — Randy Arozarena is riding a 15-game on-base streak dating back to 4/17, slashing .356/.418/.678 (21-for-59) with two doubles, one triple, 5 HR and 12 RBI in that span…it marks the third-longest on-base streak of his career, and marks his longest single-season streak since 7/23-8/20, 2021 (19G)…it marks the longest on-base streak by a Rays hitter since Yandy Díaz (18G) from 8/23-9/13, 2022.

Arozarena’s 29 RBI are third most in the majors, trailing only BOS Rafael Devers (31RBI) and TEX Adolis García (31RBI)…he ranks among qualified MLB outfielders in total bases (2nd, 69), homers (T2nd, 8), batting average (3rd, .325), hits (T3rd, 38), OPS (4th, .981), SLG (4th, .590), multi-hit games (T5th, 11) and fWAR (6th, 1.4).

BARRELED RAMÍREZ — Since batting .176 (3-for-17) in his first six games of the season, Harold Ramírez has produced a .381/.451/.667 (24-for-63) clip with four doubles, one triple, 4 HR, 12 RBI and eight multi-hit efforts over his last 17 games since 4/9…during that span, he ranks among MLB leaders (min. 70PA) in batting average (3rd), OPS (4th, 1.117), OBP (6th) and SLG (6th).

LEADING THE PACK — The Rays pace the majors in runs scored (210) while surrendering the fewest runs (96)…Tampa Bay’s +114 run differential is the second-best mark through the first 32 games of a season in MLB history (since 1901), trailing only the 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates (+119)…the 1902 Pirates also hold the record through 33 games (+124).

Tampa Bay is one of 19 teams since 1901 to score 210+ runs through its first 32 games, and the first since the 2000 St. Louis Cardinals (210R).

APRIL SHOWERS — The Rays 22 wins in April tied the club record for most victories in a single month (also: 22-6 in May 2021)…their +99 run differential (191-92) was the best in a calendar month in club history, and best by any MLB team since Oakland in Sept. 2000 (+110)…per Elias, the Rays out-homered opponents 59-19 (+40) in April, the highest HR differential in a single month in MLB history, ahead of Toronto in May 2010 (+37, 54-17).

Tampa Bay’s 59 April homers were the most in a calendar month in franchise history, ahead of May 2017 (52HR), and marked the most by any major league club since New York-AL (74HR) and Minnesota (59HR) in August 2019.

Tampa Bay’s 191 runs scored were its most in a calendar month in franchise history, ahead of May 2009 (184R)…it marked the most runs in a month by any team since Houston in August 2019 (200R).

MAY FLOWERS — 26 of Tampa Bay’s 29 games during the month of May are against clubs that currently have a record of .500 or better…only Chicago-NL, who the Rays play from 5/29-31, are under .500 (15-16)…Tampa Bay is 9-4 (.692) against teams that have a .500 or better record, the best winning pct. in MLB, ahead of Milwaukee (12-7, .632).

The Rays May opponents have a combined winning pct. of .569 (144-109)…Tampa Bay’s March/April opponents have combined for a .429 (108-144) winning pct.

ON THE MOUND — Tampa Bay’s 2.87 ERA is the best mark in the majors, ahead of Houston (3.20)…this includes the best starter ERA (2.98) and the best bullpen ERA (2.75)… Rays pitchers pace the majors in opponents’ OPS (.603), opponents’ average (.205), fewest pitches per IP (15.6), fewest base runners per 9IP (10.37) and WHIP (1.09)…Tampa Bay’s 96 are the fewest runs allowed through 32 games in franchise history, ahead of the 2010 club (99R).

This success comes despite the Rays using 23 different pitchers, tied with New York-NL for the second most in MLB behind Oakland (25).

IN THE BOX — Rays hitters lead MLB in OPS (.876), OBP (.350), SLG (.526), batting average (.278), extra-base hits (133), total bases (574), runs/game (6.56) and home runs/game (2.09).

HOW SWEET IT IS — Tampa Bay is 239-133 (.642) at Tropicana Field since 2018, the fourth-best winning percentage in the majors behind Los Angeles-NL (252-121, .676), New YorkAL (246-128, .658) and Houston (240-131, .647).

YANKEE DOODLES—The Rays and Yankees meet for the first of 13 matchups this
season, seven of which will be played over the next 10 days.
Ê The Rays went 8-11 against the Yankees last season (5-5 at home, 3-6 on the road),
losing the season series for the first time since 2019 (7-12).

TONIGHT’S STARTER: RHP YONNY CHIRINOS (1-0, 0.64)

YONNY ON THE BUMP — The right-hander will make his first start since 9/13/22 at Toronto…will mark his first start at Tropicana Field since 7/8/20 vs. Atlanta…through his first four appearances in 2023 (14.0IP), Chirinos has held opponents to a .128/.180/.191 (6-for-47) clip, allowing only nine total baserunners (6H, 2BB, HBP).

BACK IN THE WIN COLUMN — Picked up his first win since 9/7/22 vs. Boston with 4.2 innings of relief in Tampa Bay’s 12-3 victory at Chicago AL’s Guaranteed Rate Field on 4/29 (4.2IP, 3H, ER, 3SO)…faced the minimum over his first 4.0 innings of work before an Eloy Jiménez RBI-double in the sixth, halting his career-best scoreless streak at 21.2 innings, the ninth-longest streak in Rays history…the outing marked his longest appearance since 8/2/20 at Baltimore (also 4.2IP)

GOING STREAKING — Chirinos strung together a career-long 21.2 scoreless inning streak that came to an end on 4/29 at Chicago-AL on a sixth-inning RBI-double…the streak began in the second inning of his start at Toronto on 8/16/20 before resuming on 9/7/22 vs. Boston, his next major league appearance following Tommy John surgery…per Elias, it marked the ninth-longest scoreless inning streak in Rays history

PINSTRIPE PROFILE — Chirinos has made eight career appearances (5 starts) against New York-AL, going 2-3 with a 3.57 ERA (40.1IP, 16ER) and eight walks against 32 strikeouts…this includes a 2-1 mark with a 3.28 ERA (24.2IP, 9ER) over five games (3 starts) opposite the Yankees at home…he last pitched against New York-AL in a start on 9/24/19, a 2-1 Rays win at Tropicana Field (3.0IP, H, ER, HR).

Chirinos is 10-6 with a 3.62 ERA (149.1IP, 60ER) in 32 career games (17 starts) against AL East clubs…he has not allowed a run in his last three outings against divisional opponents since returning from Tommy John surgery last September (10.2IP).

LEFTY LOOSEY — Through his first four appearances this season, Chirinos has allowed just one hit to a left-handed batter (1-for-16)…over his last 13 games in the majors since 8/4/19, lefties are slashing just .167/.206/.233 (10- for-60) against him with two extra-base hits (one HR)…in the same span, righties are .240/.301/.481 (25-for-104) with 13 extra-base hits, including six homers.

THIS AND THAT — Chirinos has held opponents to a 1-for-18 (.056) clip with runners on base…opposing hitters are 1-for-19 (.053) following a first-pitch strike and 5-for-24 (.208) after a first-pitch ball…opponents are 1-for23 (.043) in two-strike counts, including eight strikeouts.

THE ARSENAL — Chirinos’ three-pitch mix is highlighted by his sinker, which he uses 50.0 pct. of the time, holding opponents to a .091 (2-for-24) average with four of his eight strikeouts on plate appearances that end with the offering…has not allowed an extra-base hit on his split-finger, registering three strikeouts and a 23.1 pct. whiff rate on the offering.

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