The Yankees can secure their postseason position in today's doubleheader.
The Yankees are well on their way to winning the AL East title and their latest win didn’t do the Rays any favors. While Tampa continues to chase the Red Sox for
the wild card spot and keep an eye on the Angels in the rear view mirror, the
Yankees could wrap up both a postseason berth and perhaps more during today’s
day-night doubleheader. There is a chance of rain listed at 50 percent with 70
degree temperatures with light winds.
The MLB odds makers have not released the lines as of yet, but expect the Yankees to be the clear MLB betting favorite. Be sure to check our live baseball odds page to get the numbers as soon as they are released.
James Shields (15-11, 2.78) will try to prolong Tampa Bay’s
playoff hopes when he faces fellow right-hander Phil Hughes (5-5, 6.00) in the
opener of the twin bill in the Bronx.
Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.91 ERA) goes
opposite CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.01 ERA) who make another attempt at winning his
20th game of the year in the night cap.
The Yankees (93-80) can win the AL East Division outright with a
split of the doubleheader or a Boston loss.
The Red Sox (88-67) have a 2.5 game lead over the Rays for the
wild card. Boston has eight games remaining while TB has nine including today’s
Last but not least and truly a longshot are the Anaheim Angels
(84-70). They’re five games behind Texas in the West but trail Tampa Bay 2.5
and Boston by 3.5 in the wild card chase with eight games remaining.
Just win the Yankees needed a dependable number two starter behind
Sabathia; enter Ivan Nova who pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning
as the Yankees blanked the Rays 5-0 on Tuesday night.
One day after Mariano Rivera set the major league saves
record with No. 602, he wasn’t needed.
Nova (16-4) worked out of jams all night but the rookie never gave
in, allowing six hits and three walks over 7 2-3 innings. Tampa Bay put the leadoff
man on four times against Nova, including every inning from the fifth through
the seventh. But the Rays couldn’t cash in.
Nova hasn’t lost since June 3, going 11-0 with a 3.35 ERA in 14
starts and has been impressive beyond years. He’s 12-0 with a 3.09 ERA in 15
starts since his last loss June 3 at the Los Angeles Angels. Despite
getting sent to the minors for a midseason tune up he leads all major league
rookies in wins. If not for slugging Angels 1B Mark Trumbo who has 29 homers
and 87 runs batted in, he might be a shoo-in for the award.
The Yankees’ bullpen sits second in the Majors with a 2.97 ERA,
trailing only the Giants (2.89) but the pen got a much needed rest with Nova
Curtis Granderson hit a three-run double, had four runs batted in
and reached base four times, boosting his MVP credentials. Heading into today’s
double dip, Granderson has 41 home runs, 119 RBI’s, and 133 runs scored.
Clock is ticking
Time is running out on the Rays Tampa Bay and New York play seven
of their final 10 games against each other, beginning with the opener of a
four-game set Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. Boston plays Baltimore today.
Then after an off day visit Yankee Stadium for three against the Bombers who
will likely have the division wrapped up. At least two teams, the Rays and
Angels hope New York will play with some urgency.
The Yanks are 7-5 against the Rays this season, and are 4-2 at
home against them.
The ‘under’ is 11-3 in the Rays last 14 on a grass surface, 6-2
overall and 6-2 to the low side in their last eight as an underdog.
Tampa Bay is 2-7 in Shields last nine starts at Yankee Stadium and
5-13 in his past 18.
Game 2 trends
Sabathia is 0-1 this year against the Rays and 9-7 overall.
Hellickson is 0-1 this season with a lifetime record of 2-1.
Harvey’s take: At best a split for the Rays with their best chance coming against
Hughes in Game 1.