Free on MLB.TV: Yanks fight for WC spot

October 2nd, 2021

It's the last rivalry series of the year between the Yankees and Rays -- at least, the last one before the postseason -- and New York is fighting to clinch an American League Wild Card spot. Don't miss it.

Aaron Judge and the Bronx Bombers host Randy Arozarena and the Rays at 1:05 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium, and it's MLB.TV's Free Game of the Day.

Fans can stream the game live by going to (blackout restrictions apply).

The Rays took Friday's series opener, 4-3, but the Yankees will try to battle back. The season series between the AL East rivals has been back-and-forth all year. Of the two clubs' five previous series in 2021, the Yankees have won two, the Rays have won two and the one four-game series was split. Here's what to watch for today.

How they're doing
Rays -- 99-61 (1st in AL East)
Yankees -- 91-69 (2nd in AL East)

The Yankees' magic number to clinch a postseason berth is one. But they lead the Wild Card race by only one game over the Red Sox after dropping the first game to Tampa Bay, and they're two games up on the Mariners and Blue Jays. Still, they've won eight of their last 10.

The Rays have clinched the AL East and home field throughout the AL side of the playoffs, with the best record in the league. They'll face the winner of the Wild Card Game in the Division Series -- which could be the Yankees.

The matchup on the mound
Rays -- Shane Baz (2-0, 1.69 ERA, 14 K)
Yankees -- Jordan Montgomery (6-6, 3.49 ERA, 159 K)

Baz, the Rays' top prospect and No. 19 prospect in baseball, is making his third career start -- a final potential audition for a spot in the postseason rotation. The hard-throwing right-hander has been excellent so far, allowing just two runs in 10 2/3 innings with 14 strikeouts.

Montgomery has been more than solid for the Yankees recently, allowing only one run in each of his last three starts and posting a 2.48 ERA since the All-Star break.

Player to watch
Giancarlo Stanton. The Yankees slugger went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI on Friday, his fifth multihit game in his last seven. Stanton has seven extra-base hits and 15 RBIs over those last seven games. He has 97 RBIs on the season.

Number of note
43. That's how many games Wander Franco's on-base streak lasted before it finally ended on Thursday. It was tied with Frank Robinson in 1956 for the longest in AL/NL history by a player 20 years old or younger.

Franco started a new streak in Friday's series opener, knocking a two-run single for insurance runs in the ninth inning.