The Yankees are opening a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox that could allow them to knock the defending champions out the division race.
- Boston Red Sox (59-51)
- New York Yankees (68-39)
- 8/2, 8/3, 8/3, 8/4 Start times: (7:05 P.M, 1:05 P.M, 7:05 7:05 P.M) ET
- Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
It’s proving time for the New York Yankees. The Bombers have had an excellent season to date as they enter this weekend with a 10.5 game lead in the AL East.
However, they have struggled of late losing six of their last 10 games and chose not to upgrade the pitching staff at the deadline despite the team’s starting pitching being inconsistent at best.
A week after losing three out of four games to the Red Sox at Fenway Park the Yankees will have a chance for redemption as Boston will travel to the Bronx to play four games in three days. The clubs will play once Friday evening, twice Saturday and again Sunday night in what will be their final meetings at Yankee Stadium this season.
New York enters Friday 7-4 against the Red Sox this season and are 4-1 in five games against Boston in the Bronx. With a series victory, the Yankees can pretty much take Boston out of the AL East race for good as if they win three out of four their division lead will be 12.5 and if they sweep the lead will be 14.5
Can they get it done? Let’s take a look at how the series will shake out on the mound.
Eduardo Rodriguez (13-4, 4.13 ERA) vs. James Paxton (5-6, 4.72 ERA)
The series will open with one team sending a pitcher having a down year and the other having a carer year.
It’s Yankees left-hander James Paxton having a rough 2019. Paxton has an ERA near five at 4.72 entering Friday night. Last week against the Red Sox he looked dominant at times striking out nine but lasted just four innings as he gave up seven earned runs including four home runs with three of them hit by Mookie Betts.
Rodriguez will be making his third start against the Yankees this season. So far, he’s 1-0 with two no-decisions with both of the no-decisions being games the Yankees would come back and win against the Boston bullpen.
Thus, the key from the Yankees will be for Paxton to limit the damage and to work Rodriguez’ pitch count and get into the Red Sox pen.
Saturday (8/3) Game 1
Chris Sale (5-10, 4.26 ERA) vs. Domingo German (13-2, 4.08 ERA)
While the Red Sox have not yet decided the order, they will throw Chris Sale and Brian Johnson Saturday it is likely Sale will get the ball in game one to match-up with Yankees ace Domingo German.
Sale and German squared off in Boston last Sunday and German came out on top. The Yankees tagged Sale for six runs including a pair of homers as he is now 0-3 against New York this year.
German was the main reason New York avoided a sweep as he pitched 5.1 innings and allowed just three runs and struck out nine to earn the victory.
While Sale has the potential to be the best pitcher in the game the Yankees have had his number this season and having just seen him six days prior it’ll be hard for the south-paw to make many adjustments.
Saturday (8/3) Game 2
Brian Johnson (1-1, 6.43 ERA) vs. Chad Green (2-3, 5.06 ERA)
It might be a battle of the bullpens in the nightcap of Saturday’s double-header. The Yankees will likely go with a bullpen day with Chad Green serving as the opener. In games the Bombers have used an opener they’re a perfect 9-0.
As for Boston, Brian Johnson is expected to be on the bump. He will make his return from the 10-day injured list and make his first appearance since June 22nd.
David Price (7-2, 3.86 ERA) vs. J.A. Happ (8-6, 5.19ERA)
The series will conclude on Sunday night baseball where a pair of lefties will be on the mound.
New York will look for a second straight quality outing from J.A. Happ who pitched well in a losing record against the Diamondbacks Tuesday. Happ’s last start against the Red Sox came on May 31st when he earned a victory after holding Boston to just one run in five innings of work.
As for Price who’s notoriously struggled against the Yankees in his carer his lone 2019 outing against New York was a success. Price tossed 6.1 innings of two-run ball back on June 2nd in the Bronx to help the Red Sox avoid a sweep in that series. He will also have the benefit of avoiding the injured Gary Sanchez who has hit five home runs in 15 at-bats against him.
The one benefit of the Yankees not making any deadline moves is now they can use it as motivation. They can show the world they are good enough to win the world series with the team they currently have constructed, and there was no need to add another starter.
I feel the team will come in angry about what happened at Fenway last weekend and the fan’s doubting them after the deadline and put together a strong performance and take three out of four from the rival Red Sox and practically end any hope for Boston to make it four straight AL East titles.