MLB: Yankees vs Rays Preview
The New York Yankees have surely wrapped up the American League East Division title haven't they?
The Bronx Bombers sit 44-16 and have the best record of all the teams in Major League Baseball right now, winning their last four in a row.
They just swept aside the Chicago Cubs by a crushing 18-4 scoreline, with the win on Sunday night showing how dominant Aaron Boone’s men are.
The Yankees are 6.00 to win the World Series for the first time since 2009 and they haven't been close to achieving that in recent years.
They made the AL Wild card spot last year on the final day of the regular season, only for ace pitcher Gerrit Cole to have an off-day and get pulled by Boone after just three innings as the Boston Red Sox took full advantage.
What: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays, American League East Division
Where: Yankee Stadium, New York
When: 19:05, Tuesday 14th June, 2022
How to watch: MLB.tv
Cole and Kluber clash once again
Cole is on the mound again in a match-up against the back-to-back AL East Division champions, Tampa Bay Rays.
Meanwhile, Rays team manager Kevin Cash will send Corey Kluber up against his former team-mates. The 36-year-old joined the Rays in the winter, he threw the Yankees' 12th no-hitter in their history in May 2021.
The Rays at the moment are battling with the Toronto Blue Jays for the top Wild Card spot and sit 10 games back from the Yankees.
Cole is 5-1 this season with an ERA of 3.63 in 12 games with 84 strikeouts. The four-time All-Star was awful in his last start against the Minnesota Twins in which Boone had no problem pulling Cole out of the game after just two and a third innings.
The 31-year-old had given up home runs to the first three batters he faced and left the game with the Yankees trailing 7-3.
Kluber is 3-2 in 2022 with an ERA of 3.88 in 11 games pitched with 51 strikeouts. The three-time All-Star put in another good night of work against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night, but was roughed up a little in the sixth inning and was knocked out of the game.
It was a third decent start for Kluber and the Rays’ pitching in recent weeks has been great.
Kluber impressed earlier this season
Kluber put in a fine performance against the Yankees earlier in the season in a 3-1 win for the Rays. He pitched six innings giving up three hits with one earned run, striking out five Yankee batters with an ERA of 4.03.
On the same night Cole also started for the Yankees, also pitching six innings, striking out 10 and giving up two hits.
The Rays defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-0 on Sunday with an excellent start from pitcher Jeffrey Springs. Randy Arozarena had an encouraging day as well.
Kevin Cash spoke to Bally Sports after the game: "All around effort, Jeffrey Springs set the tone, offensively we did some good things. Randy was motivated to get the team to win, there was some frustration from him, he had some good plays and he got on base as well.
"Head into the off-day and get into the big series against New York. Ideally you come off feeling better about yourself. We haven't for the last couple of days."
The Yankees can thank Matt Carpenter for joining the club, the 36-year-old hit his fifth and sixth home runs since arriving on 26th May in the defeat of the Cubs.
Carpenter helping Yankees' cause
Carpenter had a seven-RBI performance and the Bronx side completed a three-game sweep of Chicago, winning for the 11th time in 12 games.
Carpenter is the second player of the modern era (since 1900) to have 6 of his first 7 hits of a season be home runs. He joins Trevor Storey who did so to begin his MLB career in 2016.
Speaking to the YES network post-game, Carpenter said: "This is certainly feeling good and I feel like I have a competitive bat every time I go up. I was able to put in a lot of good work and to play for the best team in baseball in New York and them having the faith to sign me, I’m enjoying it."
Yankees' manager Boone added: "Really impressive, the fruits of some labour that he put in over the winter. I mean, it's great, it's not like we were pounding the ball all over the place, we made them work hard.
"Just quality at-bats that set the tone for the day. It was a great play by Matt earlier, it's been such a joy to be around, with his resume, he's excited to be here."
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