New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays: Lineups, Preview, Predictions 2
Kim Klement-USATSI

Following five straight losses, the New York Yankees look to break out of the skid and start fresh in Tampa Bay.

  • New York Yankees (77-72)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (64-85)
  • American League, 7:10 PM ET, YES Network
  • Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL

The New York Yankees are coming off a four-game series in Boston, where they were on the receiving end of a brutal sweep.

The Yankees are now four and a half games back from the second Wild Card spot. This losing skid dropped the Yankees chances at postseason baseball to a dismal 1.7% according to MLB.com.

Tonight, manager Joe Girardi would put the ball in the hands of Michael Pineda, who has found it difficult to make it past the fifth inning in his recent starts.

Pineda is coming off an outing where he pitched four scoreless innings, only giving up two hits against the Dodgers. However, Girardi has not trusted him as of late, pulling him before the fifth inning in each of his past three starts.

In Big Mike’s career against the Rays, he is 2-4 with a 4.74 ERA in 11 starts including a 5.74 ERA across 26.2 innings at Tropicana Field.

Opposing Pineda will be Tampa Bay’s left-hander Drew Smyly, who has not been consistent in his recent outings.

In Smyly’s previous four starts, he had a 5.75 ERA surrendering 13 earned runs in just 20 innings pitched. In two starts this season against the Yankees, Smyly is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA including 12 strikeouts compared to just two walks.

Lineups:

Player To Watch:

Billy Butler

Ever since being signed by the Yankees, Butler has been better than advertised. In his first four games as a Yankee, he has a slash line of .444/.455/.778 to go along with a home run and four RBI’s.

With the Yankees facing Drew Smyly today, Butler’s mouth is watering thinking about his at-bats. Over his career, Butler has hit Smyly very well, in 19 at-bats he has a slash line of .368/.400/.579 as well as a home run.

This Day In Yankees History:

On this date in 2010, the Yankees honored late owner George Steinbrenner with a 7-by-5 foot, 760-pound monument in Monument Park. The same night the Yankees had a touching tribute to Steinbrenner as well as having his family in attendance. For the unveiling, all players of the team went to monument park along with Steinbrenner’s family to take notice of the monument, along with the sold-out Yankee Stadium.

Bold Prediction:

The Yankees break out of their losing streak very quietly with a 3-1 victory, with a two-run home run from Billy Butler.


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