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New York Yankees Kick Off Three-Game Set With Tampa Bay Rays, Hope To Close Division Deficit

The New York Yankees begin the month of September with a postseason berth in their grasp, whether it comes from winning the American League East division or claiming one of the two AL Wild Card spots.

With both the Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays winning last night to open the new month, New York trails the Blue Jays by 1.5 games in the division. Currently, the Bronx Bombers have a 4-game lead on the Texas Rangers, who own the second Wild Card position, for home-field advantage in the AL Wild Card Game. The three clubs closest on the outside looking in, meanwhile, include the Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and Tampa Bay Rays, with all three certainly still very much in contention.

Speaking of the latter, the Rays will come to the Bronx to take on the Yankees in a very critical three-game set beginning Friday, September 4. Yankees tickets on Yankees.com start at $17 for each of the three games in the series, while the average ticket price on the secondary market for these meetings is $73.51. Buying Yankees tickets through the team’s primary vendor, Ticketmaster, provides the best value deals for the action down the homestretch.

The Yankees have won four of their last five games before this afternoon’s series finale against the Boston Red Sox. After a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves in which they scored an incredible 38 runs, the Yankees have split the first two games with the Red Sox, and will be looking to take the series with Masahiro Tanaka on the mound.

The Rays can use these games against the Yankees to bolster their position in the Wild Card picture. Tampa Bay, a longshot to even make the playoffs prior to Opening Day, only trails Texas by 3.5 games, and if they can catch up to the Rangers quickly, it’s also possible they start gunning for the Yankees’ top spot with a huge run.

Although the probable starting pitchers have not been listed, the Yankees are most likely going to have to face Rays ace Chris Archer, who has been one of the candidates for this year’s AL Cy Young award. Archer has 12 wins this season with a 2.78 ERA and 223 strikeouts over 181 innings pitched. The Yankees will have a tough time hitting Archer, especially without Mark Teixeira, who is going through a poorly-timed setback with a bone bruise on his right leg. The Yankees will need all hands on deck to deal with the Rays’ strong pitching staff, which has been the club’s main strength in guiding them to where they currently reside in the standings.

As Yankees fans are certainly used to, there’s no better baseball than meaningful games in September, and the Yankees kick off the most important month of their season with an important series against the division rival Rays.

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