Hello my old friend! Yankees @ Red Sox series preview
The Yankees will head to Boston Tuesday night for a three game series with their longtime AL East rivals. The two teams have met nine times this year with the boys from the Bronx victorious in three of those games. New York is coming off an impressive series win against the Cleveland Indians taking two of three games. Since the Yankees decided to sell the team has become so much more exciting to watch. Over the weekend the Yankees had two huge events happen: Mark Teixeira announced he would retire after the 2016 season and on Sunday the team announced that DH Alex Rodriguez would play his last game this Friday and then take on a special advisor role with the team thus effectively ending his playing career. As if times weren’t exciting enough the rivalry is renewed again, the Red Sox are in the thick of the playoff hunt though they have struggled as of late and the Yankees are not quite out of things yet as they could sneak back into contention with a good series against Boston.
GAME ONE: (Tuesday August 9, 2016| 7:10 PM ET)
Luis Severino (1-6, 6.02 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (14-3, 3.46 ERA)
After a brutal start to his season and a demotion back to Scranton, Luis Severino has returned to the Yankees as a new man. The young righty looks to be the pitcher that everyone thought he would be coming into the 2016 season. Severino seems to have gotten his confidence back and it has shown through his performance and raw emotion on the mound. On the other side Rick Porcello has enjoyed a lot of success in his second year with the Red Sox cruising to 14 wins. Porcello has come up big when the Red Sox have needed a win and he’ll look to do the same Tuesday against the Yankees. Expect this game to be a low scoring affair between two talented pitchers.
GAME TWO: (Wednesday August, 10 2016| 7:10 PM ET)
Nathan Eovaldi (9-8, 4.80 ERA) vs. Drew Pomeranz (8-9, 3.09 ERA)
2016 has been a tale of two seasons for the hard throwing Nathan Eovaldi. At times he’s looked to really be turning the corner but then, he reverts back to his old self and gets shelled. New York even removed Eovaldi from the rotation for a brief time. He’s had mixed results in his career vs. Boston who come into this game leading the league in virtually every offensive category. Needless to say Nasty Nate is going to have his hands full. Pomeranz will face the Bronx Bombers for the second time this year, the first was back in June when he was a member of the Padres. Since coming over to the Red Sox Pomeranz has been mediocre at best but has shown glimpses of the pitcher that was an All-Star for San Diego this season.
Game THREE: (Thursday August 11, 2016|7:10 PM ET)
Michael Pineda (6-10, 5.17 ERA) vs. Steven Wright (13-5, 3.01 ERA)
Big Mike comes into this game a winner of two of his last three starts. To quote many of my fellow BBB writers “no one is able to miss more bats and hit more bats than Pineda.” He has the ability to completely shut down opposing offenses while making the most elite of hitters look silly. He’s just as likely to go two innings and give up eight runs. Sadly for the Yankees, Pineda has yet to develop the consistency to be counted on start after to start. Wright has dominated the Yankees throughout his career and this year has been no exception. Something about Wright and his knuckler psych the Yankees out and their offense leaves the bats in the dugout. It’s hard to imagine a different result in game three.
Three Yankees Players to Watch
1. Alex Rodriguez: Though Alexander the Great will have his career end on Friday, he has one last chance to make Red Sox fans hate him even more than they already do. He’s always come up huge for New York when they have needed it against Boston and it would be fitting for him to do the same just one last time, assuming, of course, Girardi has the stones to pencil his name into the lineup.
2. Dellin Betances: Since the Yankees have dealt away Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman, Betances is the clear cut stud in the Yankees pen. If New York is fortunate enough to have a lead late in the game, then they’ll unleash Betances in hopes of securing a W. However, Betances had early season struggles against the Red Sox. For the Yankees sake lets hope he forgets that early April series.
3. Gary Sanchez: The newest Yankee youngster to take center stage is the fine catcher Gary Sanchez. With a cannon arm and heck of a bat, Sanchez figures to be a mainstay in the Yankee lineup for years to come. He can endear himself even more to the Yankee faithful with a big series over rival Boston.
Three Boston Players to Watch
1. Mookie Betts: Betts is the engine that makes Boston’s offense go. As the leadoff hitter, he sets the tone for the rest of their powerful lineup. An All-Star in 2016, Betts has become a homegrown star and can beat teams with a variety of skills that he has at his capacity. The Yankees will have to keep him off the base paths if they want to have a shot at winning.
2. Steven Wright: Wright has been the Red Sox best pitcher all year long and the first time All-Star has dominated the Bronx Bombers. If the Sox are going to win the series it will be in large part due to Wright’s dominance.
3. Travis Shaw: “The Mayor of Ding Dong City” as he’s known affectionately by Red Sox fans should see plenty of playing time this weekend as the Yankees three starters are all right handed. Shaw has split time at third with the recently acquired Aaron Hill but is much more of a power threat than Hill. He’ll need to have a big series if Boston wants to pull another series win vs. their historic foes.
I don’t think the Yankees will ever beat Steven Wright ever again even if their life depended on it. So we’ll give Boston game three right away. As bad as Eovaldi has been I’m going to say he comes up big and pitches just good enough to beat Drew Pomeranz in a high scoring contest in game two. So game one will be the deciding factor and while every piece of baseball smarts in my mind is telling me to go with Porcello because he’s been so good with that sinker this season, I’m going out on a limb and picking Luis Severino to throw a complete game gem that completely stifles the Boston bats. Yankees win the series two games to one and inch closer to Boston, Toronto and Detroit in the Wild Card race.
Article by: Matt C