Rays vs. Yankees: New York SP CC Sabathia Hasn't Fared Well Against David Price

Jeff Grant@@JeffGrantSportsContributor IMay 10, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 23:  CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees between pitches against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 23, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays (20-11) and New York Yankees (16-14) will close out a three-game American League East series on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 ET.

Las Vegas oddsmakers have established the Yankees as minus-145 home favorites, while the total is currently 8, but facing downward pressure in the market.

New York certainly learned that life without closer Mariano Rivera is going to have its up and downs after suffering a 4-1 loss on Wednesday, with former setup man David Robertson allowing four earned runs in the top of the ninth inning.

Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (4-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to provide a lift for the clubhouse after a disappointing result, which is entirely possible due to his recent performance. The left-hander has garnered a victory in his last four outings, while the club has won five of his six starts overall.

Sabathia enters with a respectable 9-7 record and 3.25 ERA in 25 career starts versus the Rays, but not much of that success has come since joining the organization in 2009, going 2-6 with a 3.92 ERA during that period.

Sports betters are also going to take notice that the Yankees have lost their last five games when Sabathia takes on tonight's opposing starter, while the "under" is 12-5 in the last 17 meetings overall.

David Price (5-1, 2.35 ERA) opened his 2012 campaign with an 8-6 home victory over the Yankees on April 7, giving up two runs and five hits over 6.2 frames. He has compiled a 5-2 career record and 3.96 ERA in 14 appearances (13 starts) in this heated rivalry.

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 29: David Price #14 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers a pitch against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 29, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

The left-hander is known for really turning it on in May, posting a 9-2 mark and 2.79 ERA in 14 career outings during the month, as opponents are hitting just .196 against him in that period.

The Rays are 33-13 in Price's last 46 starts versus AL East opponents with the "over" cashing in the last four opportunities.

Umpire Mike Estabrook may also be a major obstacle for Sabathia, as his teams have managed to lose all three of his starts when throwing in his strike zone, while the home team has dropped all three games with him behind home plate in 2012.

Weather forecasts suggest partly cloudy skies and game-time temperatures in the upper-50s with a west-northwest breeze of 10-15 mph. 


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