MLB NY Yankees

3 Keys to Watch for Yankees vs Rays

The New York Yankees are coming off an abysmal loss in the series finale against the Baltimore Orioles. However, the Yankees had a day to reflect and regroup in Tampa to begin a series with the Rays. So we look at three keys notes for the New York Yankees in this series.

Key to Watch #1: Will We See Aaron Judge?

We must begin with the question plaguing every Yankee fan’s mind, will we see Aaron Judge in this series at the Trop? The answer to that question can determine a lot for New York. If Aaron Judge is just dealing with “general soreness” and “wear and tear,” then he should be good to go in today’s game. However, if it’s something more, if it’s more than just some basic fatigue, then there’s cause to be concerned. And in all reality, Yankee fans have seen this act before. When it comes to injuries, the Yankees’ front office isn’t the most upfront and transparent about these situations. And if we’re being honest with ourselves, a near 29-year-old Aaron Judge should be dealing with “wear and tear” or “general soreness” after a mere five games. Especially when Judge already has a “half-day off as the Designated Hitter. How the Yankees answer this question will be a keynote for success in the series and the season.

Keys to Watch #2: Will the Fire from October Carry Over?

During the 2020 postseason, we would see tensions run high between these teams. The heat stemmed from an incident a few weeks earlier at the end of the regular season when Yankee close, Aroldis Chapman, threw at the Rays’ Mike Brosseau. Brosseau would ultimately get the last laugh eliminating the Yankees from the postseason. So here we are, a new season and the first matchup between the clubs. And we have to wonder if there will be any leftover fire. The rivalry between these teams has been heating up for many years, including as far back as when CC Sabathia threw at a Rays’ batter defending then backup catcher Austin Romine. So the key for the Yankees to be successful will come from keeping composed and playing their game.

Keys to Watch #3: The Trop Trap

Over the last few seasons, the New York Yankees have had difficulty defeating the Rays in Tropicana Field. The ballpark that is the Rays’ home is often discussed as one of the worst venues in the sport. From the catwalks creating indecipherable ground rules to the off-white roof of the dome that causes the baseball to disappear far too often, this stadium has been detrimental to many teams, including the Yankees. For the Yankees to be successful in this series and 2021 overall, they will need to overcome the bugaboo that has been Tropicana Field. 

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