Tampa Bay won nine consecutive series at home against the New York Yankees, but they will have a hard time in keeping the streak alive. They have a struggling starting pitcher and one of the worst bullpens in major league baseball, something that is particularly worrisome against the leaders of the Eastern division. The hosts will be giving the ball to Roberto Hernandez who has a dismal percentage against the Yankees, not to mention an earned run average of 5.24 in six decisions.
An insightful article about the balance of strength and the possible outcome of this fixture can be found at http://sports.yahoo.com/news/yankees-rays-preview-185925192–mlb.html. The information is a bit contradictory, given the fact that the Yankees are trying to undo years of disparaging history, while being clearly the better team. Another reason for concern is that the visitors will be playing against some of their veterans, due to the fact that they have sustained injuries and are sidelined.
On the other hand, the hosts will have Evan Longoria on the mound and with a batting average of .397 he remains the most dangerous player. On the other hand, the injury plagued visitors are still winning game after game and proudly sit at the top of the competitive division. Many punters will find it intimidating to bet on the visiting team who sends in players such as David Adams whose names don’t ring familiar.
It is easy to dismiss the Yankees after losing consecutive games and blame the numerous injuries, but it wouldn’t be a wise choice to bet against them. Curtis Granderson is in excellent form and he scored in pretty much every game this season, which should be encouraging despite his otherwise disappointing percentage at Tropicana Field. He should be more than a match for starter Roberto Hernandez, a pitcher who has conceded an average of 11 runs per game when facing the Yankees.
He might be more experienced than his counterpart, but this is only a pale consolation when his ERA is two points higher and his recent results below average. Perhaps the most alarming thing for the Rays is that they can’t rely on the pitchers in the bullpen, as these players were responsible for most of the runs that caused Tampa Bay to lose seemingly won games.