Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees (+153, 7.5)
The New York Yankees have absolutely no margin for error left. The Yankees are one loss - or one win by the Cleveland Indians - away from mathematical elimination and will try to stay alive when they host the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday. The Rays are winners of five straight games and are leading the wild-card race, a game ahead of Cleveland and two clear of third-place Texas.
Tampa Bay’s pitching staff is allowing an average of two runs during its five-game winning streak and shut out New York 7-0 in the series opener on Tuesday. The Rays are closing out the season on the road and will finish up at last-place Toronto after wrapping up with the Yankees. New York pushed itself out of contention by dropping seven of its last 10 games.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, ESPN, Sun Sports (Tampa Bay), YES (New York)
WEATHER: Temperatures in the high 60s, partly cloudy skies and winds blowing north at 5 mph.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays LH David Price (8-8, 3.43 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Phil Hughes (4-13, 5.07)
Price is winless in his last five starts and failed to get through seven innings in the last two. The reigning Cy Young Award winner scattered two runs and nine hits over five innings in a no decision against Baltimore on Friday. Price’s last win came against New York on Aug. 24, when he surrendered two runs on five hits over six innings.
Hughes was pushed back into the rotation when CC Sabathia was shut down with a hamstring injury. The 27-year-old has been working on a time-share in the fifth spot of the rotation with David Huff and will be looking to complete five innings for the first time since Aug. 20. Hughes was knocked around by Tampa Bay on July 28, allowing five runs on nine hits in four innings.
* Over is 6-1 in Prices last seven road starts vs. Yankees.
* Yankees are 4-1 in Hughes' last five starts vs. Rays.
* Over is 3-1-1 in Hughes' last five starts vs. Rays.
* Rays are 5-2 in the last seven meetings.
* Over is 5-2-1 in Prices last eight starts vs. Yankees.
UMP TRENDS - Mike Winters:
* Under is 7-3 in Winters' last 10 games behind home plate.
* Under is 13-6-1 in Winters' last 20 games behind home plate vs. New York.
* Road team is 4-0 in Winters' last four games behind home plate vs. Tampa Bay.
1. Rays CF Desmond Jennings (hamstring) missed the last two games and remains day-to-day.
2. New York has missed the playoffs once in the last 18 seasons (2008).
3. Tampa Bay SS Yunel Escobar (left ankle) and C Jose Lobaton (bruised right elbow) both left Tuesday’s series opener and are day-to-day.