Series Preview: Yankees at Red Sox
The Yankees head up to hostile Fenway Park for a crucial 4 game series with 2 months left in the regular season. The Yankees just split a 2 game set with Baltimore, continuing to play down to weak opponents. Sonny Gray gave up seven runs, and it’s not crazy to think Lance Lynn makes a start over him. Boston remains the best in the league, having a truly incredible season. However, their Cy Young contender Chris Sale has been placed on the DL and will miss this series. The Yankees are going to need to do well this series to keep the hope of winning the division alive. We are definitely in for an exciting 4 game weekend set up in Boston.
GAME ONE: Thursday August 2 nd @7PM CC Sabathia (6-4, 3.53 ERA) vs Brian Johnson (1-3, 3.45 ERA) Two lefties kick off the series Thursday night, and it’s veteran CC for the Yankees. In need of a big game, Boone looks to the big vet to kick things off right. He’s been doing well all year, and as of late, he’s been maintaining quality performances. Last time he pitched vs Boston (also a series opener) he pitched 7 innings and allowed just one run, and earned the win. Brian Johnson is an effective spot starter who has been consistent each time out. He fills in for an injured Chris Sale.
GAME TWO: Friday August 3 rd @7PM Luis Severino (14-4, 2.94 ERA) vs Rick Porcello (13-4, 4.03 ERA) A struggling Luis Severino takes the mound for game two. He now has had 4 consecutive starts that weren’t what we expect from him. He hasn’t made it past the 6 th inning in any of those starts, and people are wondering if he’s just in a slump, or if he is possible injured or fatigued. Nevertheless, he will pitch Friday against the elite Boston lineup with Mookie Betts and JD Martinez. Hopefully Sevy can turn things around with a good start vs the best team in baseball right now. He faces former Cy Young winner Rick Porcello, who has had a solid year. He’s averaging just under 1 strikeout per inning, as he relies on his sinker to induce ground balls. He hasn’t been good at Fenway this year, posting a 5.10 ERA at home.
GAME THREE: Saturday August 4 th @4PM JA Happ (11-6, 4.05 ERA) vs Nate Eovaldi (4-4, 3.80 ERA) In game three we have a matchup between two pitchers that were traded at the deadline, and both who made great first impressions in their first starts with their new team. Happ will try to replicate his 6 inning, 1 run performance he had in his Yankee debut. He also is known to pitch well against Boston. His career ERA vs Boston is 2.98. He faces Eovaldi, a former Yankee. In his Boston debut, he pitched 7 scoreless innings. This looks to be the most intriguing match-up of the weekend and looks to be like a fun one to watch.
GAME FOUR: Sunday August 5 th @8PM Masahiro Tanaka (9-2, 3.84 ERA) vs David Price (11-6, 3.97 ERA) In the series finale, Tanaka takes the mound, and he is scorching hot. He’s 2 outs away from the longest scoreless streak of his career. He’s 2-0 with 22 K’s and a 0.84 ERA in his last 3 starts, and
the Yankees are going to need another strong outing from him to try and beat Boston. He faces lefty David Price, who is notoriously bad vs the Yankees. Ever since joining Boston, he has ERA over 8 when playing the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees put 8 runs up on him about a month ago in a rout over the Red Sox.
This is a very important series for the Yankees. If they could take 3 of 4 or sweep, they’re right back in the hunt for the division lead. It won’t be easy though, as they have to do it without Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez. Someone is going to need to step up, whether it’s the pitching staff, or an unsung hero at the plate. This series can swing momentum for the last 2 months of the year leading into the playoffs. After this series the Yankees have 2 more series against Boston, both in September, and one is the last series of the year.