The Yankees have a tall task ahead of them when they’ll play the Rays in the ALDS. How can the Bombers beat Tampa Bay to move onto the ALCS?
As we all know, the New York Yankees will be taking on the Tampa Bay Rays tonight, Monday, October 5. When Yankee fans think about the Rays, many fans think about how the Rays took eight out of ten from the Bombers over the course of the regular season, and many may even be apprehensive about the upcoming best-of-five between the two solely based on Tampa’s success. However, if the Yankees were going to ever overcome Tampa, now’s the time. Here’s why.
Sunny San Diego
In an attempt to completely limit the threat of COVID-19 striking down a team mid-postseason, MLB has put the 8 divisional series teams in a bubble this October. This means the Yankees and Rays will not be battling it out at Tropicana Field or Yankee Stadium, but instead square off at Petco Park in San Diego California. Playing on the turf of Tropicana Field — as well as it being a very unique, dark, and different stadium that the Yankees normally don’t have success in — would be a huge advantage for the Rays.
Instead, playing at Petco Park completely levels the playing field. Furthermore, Petco Park is a pitcher’s ballpark. This may sound like it would be advantage Rays based on their already formidable pitching centered around Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow, and Charlie Morton, but if you look at the other perspective, the Yankees may have the edge. The Yankees’ two best arms, Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka are both flyball pitchers that surrender a lot of home runs. An expanded park may play to their strengths and only improve their numbers, while the Yankees could still have more than enough offense to put a plethora of runs on the board.
Yankees are Hot
The New York Yankees are red hot, particularly the offense. There’s no doubt the Rays are hot, too, after sweeping the Blue Jays in the ALWC series, but after the Pinstripers hammered Shane Bieber (9 hits, 7 runs, 4.2 innings) in Game One and came back for the most exciting win of the year in Game Two, the momentum is completely in the Bombers’ corner. The offense was able to put up a combined 22 runs in the Wild Card Round, and will be looking to continue that momentum against the Rays.
Although the Rays’ pitching is awfully tough, this Yankee offense looks like it could hit anyone, and they’re more than capable of continuing their powerful showing in Cleveland and bringing it to San Diego.
Rays’ Offense Lacking?
When I say this, I’m not saying the Rays’ offense isn’t that good or even bad, for that matter. Rather, I’m saying the Yankees have an offensive advantage over Tampa, especially if Gerrit Cole pitches the way he’s expected to and Masahiro Tanaka can bounce back from his rain-altered outing.
Clearly, the Rays are built on the backs of their pitching. If the Yankees can take away the dominant pitching of Tampa, the Rays’ offense might not be able to catch up. If the pitching just does what they’re expected to do, the Yankees should have an easy win this series.