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The Yankees come into play on June 17 with the division lead 15 games over .500. After 70 games, the team enters a new portion of its season as Edwin Encarnación joins the fold.

The slugger comes from Seattle for a cheap price and immediately adds a ton of power to the lineup, even while displacing young gun Clint Frazier. Tomorrow, Giancarlo Stanton rejoins the Bombers. Within a week, hopefully Aaron Judge. The Yankees have an opportunity to go from very good to great on the backs of the awaited reinforcements.

The first game of the new-look Bombers comes against the division-rival Rays, who sit just 0.5 games back heading into Monday’s game. If Tampa Bay takes two of three, the Yankees enter the weekend looking up in the standings. I previewed the Rays earlier today.

Here’s Monday’s lineups:

Rays (43-28)

  1. Austin Meadows, DH
  2. Tommy Pham, LF
  3. Brandon Lowe, 2B
  4. Avisaíl García, RF
  5. Ji-Man Choi, 1B
  6. Kevin Kiermaier, CF
  7. Willy Adames, SS
  8. Joey Wendle, 3B
  9. Mike Zunino, C

RHP Yonny Chirinos

Yankees (43-27)

  1. DJ LeMahieu, 3B
  2. Luke Voit, 1B
  3. Aaron Hicks, CF
  4. Gary Sánchez, C
  5. Edwin Encarnacion, DH
  6. Didi Gregorius, SS
  7. Gleyber Torres, 2B
  8. Cameron Maybin, RF
  9. Brett Gardner, LF

RHP Masahiro Tanaka

Notes

  • Encarnación expressed his immediate excitement to joining the Yankees, telling reporters: “We’re going to hit a lot of homers and win a lot of games too.” Love it. I feel sorry for the baseballs.
  • Brian Cashman discussed the trade, saying that while it wasn’t an area of need for the Yankees, “it was an upgrade.”

The game is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. start on YES and MLB Network for those out of town. There’s rain in the forecast for later in the evening, but it should be dry for first pitch.