Following an off day after taking two of three from Houston, the Yankees look to continue a nice road trip as they square off for a weekend series against the last-place Tampa Bay Rays (39-61). New York has taken two of three in both series matchups this season against Tampa, and looks to do more of the same at Tropicana Field. They send Ivan Nova to the mound for game one, who’s been the subject of many trade rumors recently (who hasn’t?). Nova (7-5, 4.65 ERA) has settled in for his last three starts (2-0, 2.95 ERA). Opposing him will be Jake Odorizzi (4-5, 4.10 ERA), who last time against the Yankees, threw a one hitter (yielding a two run home run Starlin Castro) that resulted in a loss! Nova only faced the Rays this season in relief, but pitched 2 1/3 innings of hitless shutout baseball.
The Yankees must continue to score runs, as we all know how well the pitching has been. Carlos Beltran has been the most consistent hitter, but lookout for Chase Headley, who started his season poorly, but has been hitting in key spots. Headley has four home runs and 12 RBIs in the month of July, his highest total this season. Secondly, he has raised his batting average to a somewhat respectable .251. If Headley and the bottom of the order can drive runners in, the Yankees can potentially sweep Tampa this weekend.
Tampa Bay Rays
Written by: Alex Cammarata