The Yankees continue their HOPE week with a 4 game set hosting the Rays. The series should include some excitement, featuring a Father’s Day showdown (which is also Yankees Old Timers’ Day), our ace Luis Severino, a big league debut for our Jonathan Loaisiga, and it is also possible we see the Rays use their unique strategy of starting a relief pitcher for an inning before turning to someone who can pitch more innings.
GAME ONE: Thursday, June 14th @7PM
Domingo German (0-4, 5.32 ERA) vs Blake Snell (8-3, 2.30 ERA)
German takes the series opener Thursday, looking to build off of his quality start last week against the Mets, where he bounced back from allowing 3 runs in the first inning to end up going 6 innings. German has struggled as a starter, giving up 3 or more runs in all but 1 start. For the Rays, it’s Blake Snell who has been pitching the best baseball of his career. He has only allowed 1 run total in his last 4 starts and he tries to keep hot vs the elite Yankees lineup.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Snell vs Gary Sanchez. Gary is batting .375 in 8 ABs vs Snell with 2 HRs. Look for him to potentially bounce back at the plate after a couple games on the bench.
GAME TWO: Friday June 15th @7PM
Jonathan Loaisiga (MLB DEBUT, 4.32 ERA in Double-A Trenton) vs Nathan Eovaldi (1-1, 3.94 ERA)
In a very interesting pitching matchup on Friday, we have the MLB debut of 23 year old Nicaragua native, Jonathan Loaisiga. He will replace injured Masahiro Tanaka, and face former Yankee Nate Eovaldi in his fourth start since undergoing Tommy John surgery over a year ago.
Loaisiga, who has never pitcher above the AA level, makes a rare jump straight to the majors. The Yankees clearly like his control and command, as he only has 1 walk in 20 innings pitched as a starter in Trenton. He went 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in Single A Tampa before getting called up to Trenton where he went 3-1 with a 4.32 ERA. He has a hard fastball that occasionally reaches 97+MPH. He also is developing a changeup and curveball. He was released by San Francisco before undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2016.
GAME THREE: Saturday June 16th @ 1:05PM
Luis Severino (9-2, 2.27 ERA) vs TBD
In game three the Yankees send out their Cy Young hopeful Severino. Severino has been dominating most of the year, posting 109 strikeouts and an average of 10.8 strikeouts per 9 innings. He also has been keeping players off the base, he has a WHIP of 0.96. He’s coming off a loss to the Mets, where he gave up just 2 runs, but was given 0 run support.
Look for the Rays to possibly start reliever Sergio Romo. They have been using this unorthodox style of starting their best reliever for the first inning against the opponents best 3 hitters, then bringing in a player more suited to carry the workload.
GAME FOUR: Sunday June 17th @2PM (Old Timers Day)
CC Sabathia (4-1, 3.27 ERA) vs TBD
Fittingly, it’s CC, the Yankees seasoned vet taking the mound on Fathers’ Day and Old Timers Day. CC is coming off of a fantastic start, where he notched his 1,500 strikeout as a Yankee en route to 6 shutout innings and a win vs the Nationals on Tuesday. CC has now had 2 consecutive solid starts, and will look to continue that in front of plenty of families celebrating Fathers’ Day, as well as many Yankee legends that will be in attendance.
The Rays haven’t announced a starter, They might look to Romo again for one inning of work before turning to an arm with more juice in the tank.
The Yankees continue to try to keep pace with the Red Sox. Boston will be in Seattle for a 4 game set against the AL West leading Mariners. Look for the Yankees to try and gain some ground while they play the sub .500 Rays.