Tampa Bay Rays @ New York Yankees
Blake Snell vs. Masahiro Tanaka
Tuesday, August 18th, 7:00 pm
Game one will pit Masahiro Tanaka against Blake Snell; a match-up we have actually seen already this season. Tanaka and Snell faced off in a shootout a little less than two weeks ago which ended in a 1-0 Rays victory.
Tanaka was marvelous despite the Yankees eventually losing the game, in 5.0 innings, he allowed only one baserunner via a single in the first inning while striking out five.
Even though Tanaka has yet to register a decision in three starts this season, he has been solid for the Yankees, allowing only 10 hits, three earned runs, and three walks while striking out 11 in 11.2 innings pitched.
This being said, I would fully expect Tanaka to be solid in his fourth start of the season against a Rays team which he went up against and allowed only one hit.
Unfortunately for the Yankees, the pitcher on the bump for the Rays will be 2018 AL Cy Young Award Winner, Blake Snell. Snell was the pitcher for Tampa on August 7th against Tanaka who had a solid outing, but it was shortlived.
Snell went only three innings allowing zero hits and runs while walking two and striking out five. Solid performance, but it wasn’t long enough to determine just how good he can be against the Yankees.
On Tuesday, I would expect him to go a bit deeper than the third inning, despite the fact he has done so only once this season. In four starts Snell has pitched a total of 13.0 innings, has given up 11 hits and three earned runs while striking out 20 and walking four.
Prediction: Rays win 2-1
Unfortunately for the Yankees, Blake Snell has been too good this season to bet against, and with DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton on the injured list, the Yankees’ bats are weakened, making it even tougher to go up against a pitcher like Snell.
As for the Yankees, I believe Masahiro Tanaka will have yet another solid outing, but unfortunately, it will not be enough as the Rays come away with the 2-1 victory.