Fantasy Preview: Yankees vs Rays 26th Sep 2017
The New York Yankees are back in the postseason. And unfortunately for the rest of the teams in the American League, they’ve got a batting order that can manufacture some serious offense come October. In other words: they’re the team that opposing pitching staffs want nothing to do with. Although, you could probably say the same thing for the Tampa Bay Rays, whom the Yankees will begin a three-game series with on Tuesday, September 26th, as they keep their faint hopes of winning the American League East division alive.
Who is hot & who is not
Anybody who plays fantasy baseball has undoubtedly become very familiar with incredible production of Aaron Judge, even before he made history this past weekend. His 49th and 50th home runs he hit tied and broke Mark McGwire’s rookie record set back in 1987, and he’s now homered against every American League team. Clearly, he’s broken out of the slump that plagued him over the second half of the season, as he’s emerged with his best stretch of the season: .395 with 11 homers and 21 RBI. in his last 14 contests, and his fourth game with multiple home runs.
Not to be outdone, Gary Sanchez is in position to finish the month of September on a high note himself, as he’s hit .319/.365/.551 with four home runs over 17 games since the start of the month. He’s currently in the top 10 in the American league in Home Runs (33), slugging percentage (.544), and OPS (.892), and reached base in at least five of his last nine games.
As far as pitching, right hander Luis Severino of the Yankees will take the hill in the second game of the series (on Wednesday the 27th), hoping to edge ahead of teammate C.C. Sabathia in terms of the highest win total on the team; both of them have 13 right now, although Severino has the best ERA on the team at 3.03. He’s pitched a few gems this month, allowing only six total hits in the first 22 innings he pitched in September.
Meanwhile, the Rays won four of their first five games after the All-Star break and looked like one of baseball’s better teams; unfortunately, they’ve gone 22-34 since. Having been eliminated from playoff contention in the ultra-competitive AL East division, the Rays are now relegated to celebrating the little things as their season comes to an end. For instance, centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier and catcher Jesus Sacre each home runs that went further than 420 feet in Tampa’s previous series against the Baltimore Orioles.
In Tampa’s third game of the series against New York (on Thursday the 28th), pitcher Alex Cobb will try to increase his team-high and career-best win total of 12 games. Even if Cobb doesn’t pitch on Thursday (there are some reports that he might be done for the season), the 29-year-old right hander has provided mostly encouraging results, including a 3.66 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in his first full campaign since Tommy John surgery. He’s set to be a free agent this winter, and could parlay those results into a bigger and better offer from the Rays, or another team.