Friday, June 21, 2024
Fantasy Guru - Baseball

MLB Preview: New York Yankees (18-16) at Tampa Bay Rays (27-7)

NEW YORK YANKEES NOTES:

AT A GLANCE: The Yankees complete their three-game road trip to Tampa Bay today (1-1 thus far)…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 completed series this season (going 6-3-1).

Are in a stretch of playing 7-of-10 games vs. the Rays (5/5-14).

Are also in a stretch of playing 11-of-14 games (5/5-18) and 14-of-20 games against the AL East (5/5-25).

Are in 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).

Are 6-1 in rubber games this season.

YESTERDAY’S NEWS: The Yankees defeated the Rays, 3-2, in a come-from-behind win on Saturday at Tropicana Field… RHP Domingo Germán (5.0IP, 4H, 2ER, 2BB, 5K, 0HR, 1HP) did not record a decision despite allowing just 2ER in 5.0IP…3B DJ LeMahieu (1-for-4, 1R, 1 double, 1RBI) hit an RBI double in the eighth inning…PH/CF Harrison Bader (2-for-2, 2RBI) hit a go-ahead two-run single in the eighth inning…2B Gleyber Torres (1-for-4, 1R, 1BB), DH Willie Calhoun (1-for3, 1BB) and CF/RF Isiah Kiner-Falefa (2-for-4, 1 double) each reached base twice…LHP Wandy Peralta (0.2IP, 2H), RHP Ron Marinaccio (W, 1.1IP, 1H, 1K), RHP Clay Holmes (1.0IP, 1H) and RHP Ian Hamilton (SV, 1.0IP, 1H, 1K) combined to toss 4.0 scoreless innings of relief…Hamilton recorded his first Major League save.

Marked their first win of the season when trailing after the seventh inning.

COMEBACK KIDS: Each of the Yankees’ last three wins have been come-from-behind wins.

PITCH PERFECT: Yankees pitchers have allowed 3R-or-fewer in four of their last five games, five of their last seven games, six of their last nine games and 20-of-34 games this season.

Their 3.54 ERA (300.0IP, 118ER) this season is the fifth-lowest in the Majors.

DARTH BADER: OF Harrison Bader hit a go-ahead two-run single in the eighth inning on Saturday…as a Yankee (since 9/20/22), has hit .500/.474/.778 (9-for-18) with 2 doubles, 1HR and 14RBI with RISP.

Has driven in five of the Yankees’ 7R during the club’s’ current three-game set at Tampa Bay.

In his first four games this season, has hit .308 (4-for-13) with 1R, 1HR and 5RBI.

ON A ROLL: OF Willie Calhoun has hit .333/.382/.533 (10-for-30) with 3R, 2HR, 5RBI, 3BB and 1SF in his last nine starts (since 4/25)…has reached base in 13-of-15 starts this season.

NOBODY BEATS THE RIZZ: INF Anthony Rizzo is batting .290 (29-for-100) with 13R, 4 doubles, 4HR, 10RBI, 6BB and 4HP in his last 26 games (since 4/9).

Has reached base in nine of his last 10 games and 28 of his first 33 games this season.

LEMACHINE: INF DJ LeMahieu hit an RBI double in the eighth inning on Saturday…has hit .417/.464/.542 (10- for-24) with 3 doubles, 11RBI, 3BB and 1SF with RISP this season…as a Yankee (since 2019), has hit .309 (119-for-385) with 18 doubles, 9HR, 173RBI, 51BB and 4HP with RISP.

Has hit .389 (7-for-18) with 2R, 1 double, 3RBI and 2BB over his last five games.

Has reached base in each of his last six games, reaching base in 10-of-23 plate appearances (7H, 3BB) over that span (.435 OBP).

HAWAIIAN PUNCH: INF/OF Isiah Kiner-Falefa has hit safely in 11 of his last 14 starts (since 4/10).

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: INF Anthony Volpe has reached base in nine of his last 11 starts (since 4/24) and 19 of his last 22 starts (since 4/12).

Is 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts this season… according to Elias, he is the second player to begin his Major League career with the Yankees and record his first 11SB without being caught (since 1921, when caught stealing was first recorded in the American League), joining Joe DiMaggio (first 12SB with 0CS from 1936-38).

COLE TRAIN: RHP Gerrit Cole is 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA (46.2IP, 7ER) and 52K in seven starts this season…his 1.35 ERA matches the third-lowest ERA by a Yankee through his first seven starts of a season in the last 30 years (since 1994), trailing only Hideki Irabu’s 1.13 ERA in 1998 and David Cone’s 1.33 ERA in 1999…Nestor Cortes also posted a 1.35 ERA through his first seven starts in 2022.

Leads the Majors in innings pitched (46.2), opponents’ SLG (.226) and opponents’ OPS (.476), is tied for first in ERA (1.35), ranks second in WAR (1.9, FanGraphs), is tied for second in wins (five) and ranks sixth in strikeouts (52) and opponents’ BA (.176).

Is just the second Yankees pitcher in franchise history to toss at least 5.0IP and allow 2R-or-fewer in each of his first seven starts of a season, joining Hideki Irabu (first seven in 1998).

Has not allowed a home run this season while tossing a Major League-leading 46.2 innings…his seven-start homerless streak is the third-longest of his career (10G from 5/26-8/13/16 and 8G from 7/9-8/20/18).

The Yankees are 7-0 in his starts this season…is one of three starting pitchers this season to make at least seven starts and have their team win each of those starts…joins Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan (club is 7-0 in 7GS) and Atlanta’s Spencer Strider (club is 7-0 in 7GS).

Has won five of his first seven starts this season…is one of four pitchers to go 5-0-or-better this year…joins Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan (6-0), Minnesota’s Joe Ryan (5-0) and Chicago-NL’s Justin Steele (5-0).

Has recorded double-digit strikeouts in nine of his last 13 starts vs. Tampa Bay (since 3/29/19)…his career 13.50 K/9.0IP ratio vs. the Rays is the second-highest by any pitcher vs. Tampa Bay (min. 50.0IP), trailing only Matt Barnes (14.03).

Is 1-3 with a 2.91 ERA (43.1IP, 14ER) in seven career regular season starts at Tropicana Field…has recorded double-digit strikeouts in each of his last six starts at the Trop (since 3/29/19)…according to Elias, his six-game streak with at least 10K at the Trop is the longest by any visiting pitcher at any venue since 1900…his six-start streak is tied with Tyler Glasnow (6GS from 4/12/21-present) for the longest such streak at Tropicana Field.

WHAT A RELIEF: Yankees relievers have posted a 2.66 ERA (125.0IP, 37ER) this season, the lowest ERA in the Majors (next: Tampa Bay-2.86)…also rank second in the Majors in opponents’ BA (.202), fourth in HR/9.0IP (0.65) and fifth in opponents’ SLG (.324) and opponents’ OPS (.623).

Have posted a 1.04 ERA (17.1IP, 2ER) in their last five games.

RHP Ian Hamilton recorded his first career save on Saturday at Tampa Bay…has gone 1-0 with one save and a 0.68 ERA (13.1IP, 1ER) and 14K over his last nine games (since 4/13)…has held opponents to a .095/.174/.119 (4-for-42) slash line over that span… his 23K this season are the fifth-most in the AL among relievers.

RHP Ron Marinaccio ranks eighth among Major League relievers with a .102 opponents’ BA (5-for-49)…has struck out 21-of-60 batters faced this season and has posted a 12.33 K/9.0IP (21K/15.1IP)…has recorded multiple strikeouts in eight of his 13 appearances this year.

RHP Michael King has recorded two saves with a 0.52 ERA (17.1IP, 1ER) and 18K over his last nine appearances (since 4/4)…has recorded at least four outs in each of his first 10 relief appearances, tied for the third-longest streak by a Yankees reliever to start a season…trails his own 15- game season-opening streak as a reliever in 2021 and Ron Davis’ 14-game streak in 1980…Stubby Overmire (1951) and Joe Page (1950) also recorded 10-game streaks…his 10 appearances of at least four outs are tied for the most in the Majors…his eight 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 19.0 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.

GLEYBER DAY: INF Gleyber Torres has reached base safely in 12 of his last 15 games.

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

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: RHP GERRIT COLE (5-0, 1.35 ERA)
RHP Gerrit Cole will make his eighth start of the season and the 275th start of his career in today’s series finale at Tampa Bay…the 32-year-old will pitch on regular four days’ rest…did not record a decision on Tuesday in the Yankees’ 4-2 win vs. despite allowing just 2ER in 6.0IP (5H, 3BB, 8K, 0HR, 1HP)…is 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA (46.2IP, 7ER) and 52K in seven starts this season…his 1.35 ERA matches the third-lowest ERA by a Yankee through his first seven starts of a season in the last 30 years (since 1994), trailing only Hideki Irabu’s 1.13 ERA in 1998 and David Cone’s 1.33 ERA in 1999…Nestor Cortes also posted a 1.35 ERA through his first seven starts in 2022…in his third year with the Yankees in 2022, went 13-8 with a 3.50 ERA (200.2IP, 154H, 81R/78ER, 50BB, 257K, 33HR) in 33 regular season starts…his Major League-leading 257K last season were the most by a Yankees pitcher in a single season in franchise history, surpassing Ron Guidry’s previous record of 248K in 1978…the five-time All-Star (2015, ’18-19, ’21-22) has finished in the top-five of Cy Young Award voting five times (second in 2021, fourth in 2020, second in 2019, fifth in 2018, fourth in 2015)…his career 10.51 K/9.0IP ratio (1,982K/1,696.2IP) is the eighth-highest in Major League history (min. 1,000.0IP)…in 82 starts with the Yankees, is 41-19 with a 3.10 ERA (501.2IP, 173ER) and 646K…since 2018, leads the Majors in wins (76), strikeouts (1,248) and K/9.0IP (12.28), is tied for first in innings pitched (914.1), ranks third in opponents’ BA (.202) and WAR among pitchers (25.1 – FanGraphs), fourth in winning percentage (.724, 76-29, min. 60 decisions) and WHIP (0.99) and fifth in K/BB (5.33) and ERA (2.91)…was originally selected by the Yankees in the first round (28th overall) of the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft but did not sign and went on to play at UCLA for three seasons (2009-11)…was the first overall pick of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, the 15th pitcher (and 11th right-hander) to be chosen first…is the fifth player selected first overall to play for the Yankees, joining Alex Rodriguez, Darryl Strawberry, Tim Foli and Ron Blomberg…signed a nine-year contract extending through the 2028 season with a player opt-out following the 2024 season on 12/18/19.

LAST START: Did not record a decision in the Yankees’ 4-2 win vs. Cleveland on Tuesday despite allowing just 2ER in 6.0IP (5H, 3BB, 8K, 0HR, 1HP).

MILESTONE MAN: Has 1,982 career strikeouts in 274 career games and needs 18K to reach 2,000 career strikeouts…Randy Johnson (262G), Clayton Kershaw (277G), Max Scherzer (287G) and Nolan Ryan (287G) are the only four players in Major League history to reached 2,000 career strikeouts in 290 games-or-fewer.

TROPHY CASE: Was named the AL “Pitcher of the Month” for March/April after going 5-0 with a 1.11 ERA (40.2IP, 23H, 5ER, 11BB, 44K, 0HR) in six starts…led the Majors in innings pitched, tied for the best record and ranked second in ERA…marks his sixth career “Pitcher of the Month” honor and second with the Yankees (also April 2021)…is the first Yankees pitcher to be named “Pitcher of the Month” since Jameson Taillon (July 2021)…is just the fifth Yankees pitcher to be named the “Pitcher of the Month” multiple times (also Andy Pettitte – three times; Roger Clemens, Hideki Irabu and CC Sabathia – twice).

Recorded the second-lowest ERA by a Yankees starting pitcher who made at least five starts in March/April in franchise history (since ER became an official stat in 1913)…his 1.11 ERA trailed only Jimmy Key who posted a 0.93 ERA in five starts of March/April 1993.

Was also named the AL “Player of the Week” for 4/10-16 after going 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA (16.0IP, 7H, 2ER, 3BB, 13K, 0HR) in two starts.

2023: Is 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA (46.2IP, 7ER) and 52K in seven starts this season…his 1.35 ERA matches the third-lowest ERA by a Yankee through his first seven starts of a season in the last 30 years (since 1994), trailing only Hideki Irabu’s 1.13 ERA in 1998 and David Cone’s 1.33 ERA in 1999…Nestor Cortes also posted a 1.35 ERA through his first seven starts in 2022.

Leads the Majors in innings pitched (46.2), opponents’ SLG (.226) and opponents’ OPS (.476), is tied for first in ERA (1.35), ranks second in WAR (1.9, FanGraphs), is tied for second in wins (five), ranks sixth in opponents’ BA (.176) and seventh in WHIP (0.90).

Three of his seven starts this season have been scoreless…has allowed 1R-or-fewer in four of his seven starts…has allowed 2R-or-fewer in each of his first seven starts.

Has recorded at least 8K in five of his seven starts this season.

Is just the second Yankees pitcher in franchise history to toss at least 5.0IP and allow 2R-or-fewer in each of his first seven starts of a season, joining Hideki Irabu (first seven in 1998).

Has not allowed a home run this season while tossing a Major League-leading 46.2 innings…his seven-start homerless streak is the third-longest of his career (10G from 5/26-8/13/16 and 8G from 7/9-8/20/18).

Has allowed 4H-or-fewer in four of his seven starts.

Has received 3R-or-fewer of support in six of his seven starts.

Today will mark just his third road start of the season…five of his seven starts have come at homes…is 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA (13.2IP, 4ER) on the road this year.

Tossed his fourth career shutout on 4/16 vs. Minnesota (9.0IP, 2H, 1BB, 10K)…marked his seventh career complete game (first since 7/17/21 vs. Boston–6.0IP) and his fourth career nine-inning complete game…was just the third Yankee (fourth time) in the last 22 years (since 2002) to throw a nine-inning shutout and allow three-or-fewer baserunners, joining Corey Kluber (1BB in his no-hitter on 5/19/21 at Texas) and Masahiro Tanaka (2H and 1BB on 6/17/19 vs. Tampa Bay and 3H on 4/27/17 at Boston).

BLANK SPACE: Posted a career-high 25.2 scoreless inning streak from 4/11-27…was the second-longest scoreless streak by a Yankees starting pitcher in the last 63 years (since 1961), trailing only Catfish Hunter’s 26.0 scoreless inning streak from 8/30-9/11/75…also posted a season-opening 12.0 scoreless inning streak (3/30-4/5).

WINNING WAYS: Has won five of his first seven starts this season…is one of four pitchers to go 5-0-or-better this year… joins Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan (6-0), Minnesota’s Joe Ryan (5-0) and Chicago-NL’s Justin Steele (5-0).

The Yankees are 7-0 in his starts this season…is one of three starting pitchers this season to make at least seven starts and have their team win each of those starts…joins Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan (club is 7-0 in 7GS) and Atlanta’s Spencer Strider (club is 7-0 in 7GS).

IN PINSTRIPES: In 82 starts with the Yankees, is 41-19 with a 3.10 ERA (501.2IP, 173ER) and 646K…has allowed 3ER-or-fewer in 64-of-82 starts…has allowed 2ER-or-fewer in 55 starts as a Yankee, the second-most such starts in the AL and the fourth-most such starts in the Majors in that stretch…has recorded 17 scoreless starts as a Yankee, the most scoreless starts by any AL pitcher in that span.

His 41 wins since 2020 are the most in the AL and the second-most in the Majors over that stretch, trailing only Julio Urías (44-13).

His 646K since 2020 are the most in the Majors…his 11.59 K/9.0IP ratio in that span is the best in the Majors (min. 400.0IP)…has finished in the top-five of Cy Young Award voting in two of his first three seasons in pinstripes (second in 2021, fourth in 2020).

His 23 double-digit strikeout games as a Yankee are tied with Ron Guidry for the most in franchise history.

KING OF THE HILL: Wince 2018, leads the Majors in wins (76), strikeouts (1,248) and K/9.0IP (12.28), is tied for first in innings pitched (914.1), ranks third in opponents’ BA (.202) and WAR among pitchers (25.1 – FanGraphs), fourth in winning percentage (.724, 76-29, min. 60 decisions) and WHIP (0.99) and fifth in K/BB (5.33) and ERA (2.91).

Has recorded 16 scoreless starts of at least 5.0 innings since 2021, tied for the most in the Majors in that span.

VS. TAMPA BAY: Is 2-7 with a 3.52 ERA (92.0IP, 36ER) and 138K in 15 career regular season starts vs. the Rays…has received 2R-or-fewer of support in 12 of his 15 starts against Tampa Bay… as a Yankee, is 2-5 with a 3.53 ERA (66.1IP, 26ER) and 101K in 11 regular season starts vs. the Rays.

Has recorded double-digit strikeouts in nine of his last 13 starts vs. Tampa Bay (since 3/29/19)…his career 13.50 K/9.0IP ratio vs. the Rays is the second-highest by any pitcher vs. Tampa Bay (min. 50.0IP), trailing only Matt Barnes (14.03).

Is 1-3 with a 2.91 ERA (43.1IP, 14ER) in seven career regular season starts at Tropicana Field…has recorded double-digit strikeouts in each of his last six starts at the Trop (since 3/29/19)…according to Elias, his six-game streak with at least 10K at the Trop is the longest by any visiting pitcher at any venue since 1900…his six-start streak is tied with Tyler Glasnow (6GS from 4/12/21-present) for the longest such streak at Tropicana Field.

Went 1-1 with a 1.07 ERA (25.1IP, 3ER) and 35K in four starts vs. the Rays in 2022…tossed at least 6.0IP and allowed 1R-or-fewer in each of those four starts.

STRIKEOUT MACHINE: Has recorded double-digit strikeouts in 44 games since the start of 2019, marking the most in the Majors over the span (next: Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom with 28)…his 52 games with at least 10K since the beginning of 2018 are also the most in the Majors in that span (next: Max Scherzer-46).

Ranks sixth in the Majors in strikeouts…has recorded at least 8K in five of his seven starts this season…is one of just three pitchers in the Majors to record at least 8K in five games, joining Atlanta’s Spender Strider (seven) and Los Angeles-AL’s Shohei Ohtani (five).

Has posted a 10.03 K/9.0IP ratio (52K/46.2IP).

TAMPA BAY RAYS NOTES:
ON TO THE NEXT — Tampa Bay saw its four-game winning streak come to an end yesterday with a 3-2 loss to the Yankees in front of a season-high 27,078 fans at Tropicana Field…RHP Drew Rasmussen did not factor into the decision after tossing 5.2 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out six batters… LF Randy Arozarena (1-for-4) extended his on-base streak to 17 games, while 1B Yandy Díaz (1-for-2, R, BB, HBP) extended his on-base streak against the Yankees to 13 straight games dating back to 6/21/22.

Drew Rasmussen has not surrendered a run across 14.0 innings in three career appearances (2 starts) against the Yankees…in the three appearances, Rasmussen is holding New York batters to a .192 average (10-for-52) with 19 strikeouts against just two walks.

Yesterday’s loss marked Tampa Bay’s first defeat this season when leading after seven innings (entered 23-0).

Despite the loss, Tampa Bay is one of just eight teams since 1901 to win at least 27 of its first 34 games overall, joining the 1984 Detroit Tigers (29-5), 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates (29-5), 1939 New York Yankees (28-6), 1948 Boston Red Sox (27-6), 1928 New York Yankees (27-7), 1912 New York Giants (27-7) and 1911 Detroit Tigers (27-7).

MAROON 5 — The Rays 22-game winning streak when scoring the first run of the game to start the season came to an end yesterday…the 22-game run tied the 1884 St. Louis Maroons for the longest season-opening streak in MLB history, per Elias.

SUPER SMASH BROS. — The Rays have hit a major league-best 69 home runs, the second-most long balls through a club’s first 34 games in MLB history (since 1901), trailing only the 2000 St. Louis Cardinals (74HR)…Tampa Bay has out-homered opponents, 69-21 (+48)…its 21 homers allowed are the fewest in the majors, ahead of Seattle (24HR).

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 six games this season with 4+ HR, ahead of Atlanta (5)…the 2022 Rays had one such game (4 HR, 6/21 vs. NYY), while the 2021 Rays had a franchise-record 11 games with 4+ homers.

The Rays have an MLB-best seven players with six or more homers, including Randy Arozarena (9), Yandy Díaz (9), Brandon Lowe (7), Luke Raley (7), Wander Franco (7), Josh Lowe (6) and Harold Ramírez (6)…the next closest team is Atlanta with six players.

RANDY LAND — Randy Arozarena is riding a 17-game on-base streak dating back to 4/17, slashing .354/.427/.692 (23-for-65) with two doubles, one triple, 6 HR and 13 RBI in that span…it is the second-longest on-base streak of his career, trailing only a run of 19 games from 7/23-8/20, 2021…it marks the longest on-base streak by a Rays hitter since Yandy Díaz (18G) from 8/23-9/13, 2022.

His 17-game on-base streak is tied with BOS Triston Casas for the fourth-longest active run in the majors behind HOU Yordan Alvarez (27G), ATL Ronald Acuña Jr. (25G), and COL Jurickson Profar (18G).

Arozarena’s 30 RBI are fourth most in MLB behind BOS Rafael Devers (34), TEX Adolis García (33) and HOU Yordan Alvarez (31)…he ranks among qualified MLB outfielders in HR (2nd, 9), SLG (2nd, .602), total bases (2nd, 74), batting average (3rd, .324), hits (T3rd, 40), OPS (4th, .999), fWAR (5th, 1.5) and multi-hit games (T5th, 11).

EARNING HIS PINSTRIPES — Yandy Díaz has reached base safely in 13 straight games against the Yankees since 6/21/22, batting .327 (16-for-49) with three doubles, one home run and 9 RBI during the streak…it is the second-longest active on-base streak by any player in the majors against the Yankees, trailing only LAA Hunter Renfroe (15G)…if he reaches base today, Díaz will surpass his career-best 13-game on-base streak vs. New York-AL, which he accomplished from 8/20/20-6/2/21.

Díaz is 12-for-35 (.343) with two doubles, one home run and 5 RBI against Yankee’s starter Gerrit Cole…the 12 hits are his most against an opposing pitcher, four more than his next closest opponents (8 hits off Martín Pérez and Eduardo Rodriguez).

LEADING THE PACK — The Rays pace the majors in runs scored (217) while surrendering the fewest runs (103)…Tampa Bay’s +114 run differential is the second-best mark through the first 34 games of a season in MLB history (since 1901), trailing only the 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates (+125)…the 1902 Pirates also hold the record through 35 games (+127).

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).

TOUGH ROAD AHEAD — All 29 of Tampa Bay’s games during the month of May are against clubs that currently have a .500 record or better…Tampa Bay is 10-5 (.667) against teams that have a .500 or better record, the best winning pct. in MLB, ahead of Milwaukee (12-7, .632).

ON THE MOUND — Tampa Bay’s 2.90 ERA is the best mark in the majors, ahead of Houston (3.35)…this includes the best starter ERA (2.94) and the second-best bullpen ERA (2.74) behind New York-AL (2.66)…Rays pitchers pace the majors in opponents’ OPS (.605), opponents’ average (.207), fewest pitches per IP (15.6) and WHIP (1.10)…Tampa Bay’s 103 runs are the fewest allowed through 34 games in franchise history, ahead of the 2019 and 2010 clubs (104R).

IN THE BOX — Rays hitters lead MLB in OPS (.872), OBP (.349), SLG (.523), batting average (.277), extra-base hits (142), total bases (603), HR/game (2.09) and run diff./game (+3.35).

YANKEE DOODLES — The Rays and Yankees meet for the third 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).

TODAY’S SCHEDULED RELIEVER: LHP JOSH FLEMING (0-0, 3.18)
TODAY’S OPENER — RHP Javy Guerra will make his second career start to open today’s rubber match with LHP Josh Fleming scheduled to follow…Guerra, 27, was acquired from Milwaukee on 4/29 in exchange for a PTBNL or cash considerations and has thrown 1.2 hitless innings in two appearances (one start) since returning to the Rays…the righty appeared in 17 games with Tampa Bay in 2022 before being dealt to the Brewers on 11/18/22 for a PTBNL.

FOLLOWED BY FLEM — Today’s outing will mark Fleming’s 50th career appearance, including his seventh of the 2023 campaign…since allowing five runs in his season debut on 4/4 at Washington, he has pitched to a 1.37 ERA (19.2IP, 3ER) while holding opponents to a .164 average (11-for67) over his last five outings…has not allowed a home run in 22.2 innings this season.

LAST TIME OUT — Fleming entered with a pair of baserunners in the opening frame and went on to work 3.1 innings in Tampa Bay’s 4-1 win over Pittsburgh on 5/2 at Tropicana Field (3.1IP, 2H, ER, 3BB, SO)…departed in the fifth inning with a left foot contusion after being struck by a 113.1- mph lead-off single off the bat of Ke’Bryan Hayes.

PINSTRIPE PROFILE — Fleming is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA (6.0IP, 2ER) in three career relief appearances against the Yankees, all of which came during the 2021 season…New York hitters are batting .227 (5-for-22) against him with two extra-base hits (2B, HR).

Over 19 career appearances (5 starts) against AL East clubs, Fleming is 6-5 with a 5.60 ERA (72.1IP, 45ER), including 4-3 with a 4.14 ERA (50.0IP, 23ER) in his 14 relief outings against divisional opponents… owns a 2.45 ERA (7.1IP, 2ER) against the division in 2023 (2G).

THE PRICE IS RIGHT — Since allowing righties to hit 8-for-14 (.571) in his season debut on 4/4 at Washington, Fleming has held right-handed hitters to a .208 average (10-for-28) over his last five outings, allowing just one extra-base hit to a righty in that span (2B)…in the same stretch, lefthanded hitters are 1-for-19 (.053) against him with seven strikeouts.

In 2022, righties produced a .386/.447/.644 (39-for-101) against Fleming, the second-highest opponents’ batting average against righties in the majors behind KC Carlos Hernandez (.389) (min. 100 RHB faced)…his 1.091 OPS against right-handed batters last season was the worst in the majors under the same parameter.

SINK OR SWIM — Fleming utilizes his sinker as his primary offering, throwing it 48.4 pct. of the time…opponents are batting just .184 (7-for38) against the pitch, eighth-lowest on any AL pitcher’s sinker (min. 25PA ending w/ pitch)…his 22.1 pct. whiff rate on the sinker is fifth under the same parameters.

Fleming’s 61.4 pct. ground ball rate ranks second in the AL and fifth in the majors (min. 20.0IP), trailing HOU Framber Valdez (66.7%), SF Alex Cobb (63.1%), ATL Max Fried (62.9%) and CHC Marcus Stroman (62.0%).

In 2022, Fleming used his sinker for 54.7 percent of his pitches…his ground ball rate of 63.8 percent ranked eighth in the majors among pitchers with at least 35 innings.

World Elite Syndicate

Related Articles

Sports Gaming Monitor

Latest Articles

ScoreBig - Get Tickets for Less