The Rays have taken back-to-back games against the Yankees and pushed them to the brink of elimination. The top-seeded team in the AL, the Rays, have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five ALDS and are trying to punch their ticket to the ALCS.

Let’s check out the pertinent details for Game 4.

How to watch

Date: Thursday, Oct. 8 | Time: 7:10 p.m. ET
Location: Petco Park (San Diego, Calif.)
TV: TBS | Stream: TBS app
Odds: TBD
Pitchers: RHP Ryan Thompson vs. LHP Jordan Montgomery
Follow: CBS Sports App    

Preview

The Rays were AL East champions in the regular season, winning the division by seven games over the Yankees. In the head-to-head battles, the Rays won eight out of 10 games between the two teams. And yet, the Yankees were favorites to win the series coming in. The Rays lost Game 1, but now have turned the tables with consecutive wins. They are one win away from getting to the ALCS for just the second time in franchise history. 

The Yankees’ offense was on fire to start the playoffs, but they’ve scored progressively fewer runs in each game: 12, 10, 9, 5, 4. The Rays will look to keep the trend going with an opener before, in all likelihood, lefty Ryan Yarbrough takes over early and looks to get deeper into the game. 

Something to watch: Rays’ ace reliever Nick Anderson has only thrown in Game 2 in this series. He held opposing hitters to a .091/.138/.182 line this season with 26 strikeouts in 58 batters faced. He only gave up one hit to a right-handed hitter all year and the Yankees are predominantly right handed. 

On the Yankees’ end, they’ll need to piece it together. It’s desperation time. All hands on deck, maybe even Gerrit Cole in relief, though I’d bet an awful lot of weird would have to happen to trigger that. I’d say the most important thing is they need to hit early and often to avoid a late-game situation against Anderson when they are down. 

Prediction

The Rays really feel like they have “it” right now, don’t they? Of course, the Yankees had a 1-0 lead in blowout fashion just 48 hours before the 2-1 deficit. Things can turn fast, especially with an offense like this. The Yankees bash their way to a Game 5. 

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