I have no interest in seeing the Rays ever move up from second place for the rest of the season. I’m sure that’s a common sentiment around these parts, and the Yankees have a real chance to cement their second-place status this week. The Rays are 3 games behind the Yanks in the loss column, which is far too close for my liking. Let’s hope the Yankees do the work needed here and win this series.

Derek has you covered on all things Rays since these teams met a week ago, so check that out. Here are tonight’s lineups:

Tampa Bay Rays (14-9)
1. Austin Meadows, LF
2. Brandon Lowe, RF
3. Yandy Díaz, DH
4. Ji-Man Choi, 1B
5. Joey Wendle, 2B
6. Willy Adames, SS
7. Yoshi Tsutsugo, 3B
8. Kevin Kiermaier, CF
9. Michael Perez, C
Blake Snell, LHP

New York Yankees (16-6)
1. Luke Voit, 1B
2. Gio Urshela, 3B
3. Aaron Hicks, CF
4. Gleyber Torres, SS
5. Gary Sánchez, C
6. Mike Tauchman, LF
7. Clint Frazier, RF
8. Miguel Andújar, DH
9. Thairo Estrada, 2B
Masahiro Tanaka, RHP

Well, would you look at that: it’s Luke Voit in the leadoff spot! I love it with the 3 best Yankee hitters out. It’s good stuff. Here is a related fun fact:

News & Notes

  • Aaron Boone thinks the manufactured controversy over Fernando Tatis Jr.’s grand slam last night is a “little silly” and so does Gerrit Cole. (James Wagner) I’ll go one step further and say it is a lot stupid.
  • Boone also had a good point that teams should always try as hard as possible to keep scoring, saying leverage impacts the ways in which managers deploy their bullpens. Makes sense! (Lindsey Adler)
  • The Yankees are batting Luke Voit first to provide “balance” against the Rays’ pen, and Luke is “pretty fired up” over the decision. (Bryan Hoch)
  • Miguel Andújar had an ugly moment in LF last night, and he said it was to date the “hardest” play he’s had to make in the outfield. Sure looked that way. (Max Goodman)
  • Gerrit Cole rained praise on Gary Sánchez’s defense and new stance, which adds up. It’s working. Don’t listen to A-Rod. (Lindsey Adler, subs req’d)

First pitch is at 7:05 pm ET tonight. The game will be broadcast on YES locally, ESPN nationally, and WFAN/WADO. Enjoy the first matchup against the real rival this week, everyone. See you after the game.