Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees - 4/18/14
New York Yankees (9-6) at Tampa Bay Rays (7-8)
MLB Baseball: Friday, April 18, 2014 at 7:10 pm (Tropicana Field)
Hiroki Kuroda (R) (2-1) (3.859) vs. Erik Bedard (L) (0-0) (0.00)
The Line: Tampa Bay Rays -105 / New York Yankees -105 --- Over/Under: 8 See the Latest Odds
TV: MLB Net, YES, Sun Sports
The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays will take the field Friday night for game two of a four-game series. The Yankees won game 1, 10-2.
The Yankees have now won five straight games and are at the top of the AL East with a 10-6 record. Carlos Beltran has three homeruns in his last five games, but it’s been the Yankees pitching that’s allowed just eight runs during this winning streak that’s really led the way. Hiroki Kuroda hopes to keep the ball rolling, as he’s 2-1 on the season with 3.86 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 18.2 innings. Kuroda is 2-3 with a 7.36 ERA in five career starts against the Rays.
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While the Yankees have been red hot, the Rays have lost four straight games and are getting nothing from their offense. The Rays have scored just seven running during their losing stretch, and only two players have at least 15 hits through the first 16 games. The lack of offense is putting a lot of stress on the pitching staff, and Erik Bedard will make his first start as a Ray. Bedard has pitched only two innings this season, giving up one run and two hits. Bedard was 4-12 last season with Houston, and he’s 4-5 with a 4.17 ERA in 14 career starts against the Yankees.
The Yankees are 12-5 in Kuroda's last 17 starts vs. a team with a losing record and 0-7 in Kuroda's last 7 road starts. The Rays are 15-7 in their last 22 games vs. a right-handed starter and 0-5 in their last 5 games as an underdog. The Yankees are 6-16 in the last 22 meetings in Tampa Bay.
In a toss-up game, give me the team with the better overall pitcher and the team that's been on a roll over the last week. Of course, that would be the New York Yankees in this spot.