The Yankees will travel to Tropicana Field this weekend to begin their season series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Yankees grabbed two of three games earlier this week from the Red Sox. Yankee center fielder, Curtis Granderson, stole the show on Wednesday night by blasting a solo home run off closer, Jonathan Papelbon in the 10th inning.

The Rays also grabbed two wins in their opening series against the Baltimore Orioles. Alike Granderson, Rays third baseman Evan Longoria has started off the season hot, blasting two home runs.

The Yankees were 11-7 against the Rays last season. They posted a 5-4 record at Tropicana Field. Two of those four losses came during the last series of the regular season. The Yankees had already clinched the American League East and were playing mostly subs. Let’s dive into the pitching match-ups for the weekend.

Projected pitching match-ups:

Friday: RHP Javier Vazquez (0-0, 0.00) vs LHP David Price (0-0, 0.00)

Saturday: LHP C.C. Sabathia (0-0, 8.44) vs RHP Wade Davis (0-0, 0.00)

Sunday: RHP A.J. Burnett (0-0, 5.40) vs RHP James Shields (0-0, 4.50)

Interesting Facts:

1. 278: The collective number of starts by the entire Rays’ rotation.
Working the count against the Rays talented, yet inexperienced pitching will be the key to the series.

2. 289: The number of career starts by Carsten Charles Sabathia.

3. 3 for 23: Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria’s collective numbers against Friday’s starter, Javier Vazquez.

4. The Rays won the first meeting in 2009, 15-5.

5. 194: The total number of bases stolen by the Rays in 2009(Led the MLB). Keeping BJ Upton and Carl Crawford off the base paths is critical to the Yankees success. Expect catcher, Jorge Posada to be tested early and often.

Most Feared Player: Evan Longoria

When Longoria gets hot, he becomes one of the best hitters in the American League. Longoria has hit eight home runs in 92 at-bats against the Yankees. He also plays one of the best defensive third bases in baseball. Watch out for him.

Which Rays player worries Yankees fans the most?

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