With the All-Star break at hand, the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay conclude their so-called first half of the season in search of one last victory.
No doubt about, even with all their injury’s, the New York Yankees have played the best baseball in the American League in 2019. Whether that continues will play out as we move ahead and New York returns to yet another World Series, that is to be determined. However, manager Aaron Boone has a loaded team that has one of the Top 3 run differentials in baseball.
Since having their five-game winning streak snapped on May 30th, Tampa Bay has played below average baseball with a 15-19 record. (As of 7/6) The Rays pitching is exceptional, having the best ERA in baseball and is in the Top 3 of several important categories like on-base percentage allowed, slugging percentage and home runs given up. What holds Tampa Bay back is an offense that is 19th in the majors, that can be as hot as the west Florida temperatures in the summertime or cool off like after a heavy rainstorm.
A massive problem for Tampa Bay and almost every team in the AL is how to beat New York. The Rays are 2-9 against the Yanks this season and are trying to find answers. As we went to post this article, the MLB odds for Sunday had not been released yet, but we are anticipating either team will be a smallish favorite if James Paxton (5-3, 4.09 ERA) and Charlie Morton (9-2, 2.36) remain the starting pitchers.
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Bronx Bombers and Than Some
Boone’s offense is relentless, averaging 5.8 RPG and they have the ability to keep the pressure on opposing pitchers 1-thru-9 on the lineup card. There are no breathers for pitchers, who have to continually make great pitches, which is both physically and mentally taxing.