Series Preview: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox (8/18-8/20/17)

The best rivalry in sports battle again this weekend in Boston. In their last meeting, both teams stole a late lead from each other, but none more heart crushing than the Sunday blown save by closer Aroldis Chapman. After a four game sweep against the Mets, the team looks to regain ground on their rivals in the division race. This set will end the much hyped “Rivalry Week,” for the Yankees, as the next time these two teams meet will be the last day of August back in New York. With only seven matchups left, each one of these games will be crucial for both clubs.



Game One- Friday, August 18th | First Pitch: 7:10 pm
Jordan Montgomery (7-6 3.94 ERA) vs. Drew Pomeranz (12-4 3.39 ERA)

Montgomery takes the mound for the second straight time against the Red Sox. Jordan’s last outing was in the 3-2 10th inning loss where the young lefty pitched 5.1 innings with two hits, three walks, four strikeouts, and only one earned run. Jordan has surrendered only one run in three out of his past four starts and looks to continue this good form in Boston.

Pomeranz has had a great August so far, the lefty sporting a 2.77 ERA with 13 strikeouts. He last pitched in that 10-5 drubbing against Luis Severino where he pitched 6.2 innings with seven hits and three runs earned. Against the Yankees, Pomeranz has let up two runs, four runs, and three runs, so hopefully, the Bombers can add to those run totals.

Game Two- Saturday, August 19th | First Pitch: 7:10 pm
CC Sabathia (9-5 4.05 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (14-4 2.51 ERA)

CC is coming off the DL to start this game after injuring his knee against Toronto. All eyes will be on the veteran lefty as he faces Chris Sale, and a strong start is needed if the club hopes to steal a win against the Boston ace. In his last start, CC was rocked by John Donaldson and Toronto before leaving with an injury in the third inning.

Chris Sale finally got his first start that resulted in a win for his team Sunday against the Yankees. Every one of his starts against the Bombers has been a great one, never surrendering more than two runs in his three starts. The runaway AL Cy Young leader looks to build on his impressive starts against New York.

Game Three- Sunday, August 20th | First Pitch 1:30 pm
Sonny Gray (6-7 3.39 ERA) vs. Doug Fister (2-6 5.56 ERA)

The new Yankee pitcher gets his first taste of the rivalry as he takes the mound in Boston. In his first two starts for the Bombers, Gray has had very little help from his teammates. First, it was the three error first game against Cleveland, and then the team was shutout in Toronto. However, he was finally able to record his first win against the Mets, where the righty looked to be in complete control of the game. With the series possibly on the line, another solid outing from Gray is crucial.

Fister’s last outing was a one to forget, relinquishing five runs against Cleveland in a 7-3 loss. His last start against the Yankees was a 4-1 loss, and the righty only lasted 2.2 innings. Fister will most likely be the easiest pitcher they face in the series, and securing a win in this last game is pivotal for the division race.

Yankees Players to Watch 

Frank Franklin Ii/AP
Aaron Hicks
After missing 39 games this season, the switching hitting Hicks came back in the lineup just in time for the Red Sox series. He would make his presence known early, hitting the two run home run that started the five run eighth inning Friday in New York. The righty backed up his bat with great defensive plays, an amazing throw on a double play on Friday and a great diving grab in center field on Sunday. He continued that hot start into the Mets series and looks to help the Bombers win another round in Boston.

Aaron Judge
When isn’t the most watched Yankee player Aaron Judge? The rookie has struggled during the second half of this season but showed some promising signs during the Subway Series. The right fielder is starting to drive balls to the opposite field including a double and a home run. He also hit a single and a moonball home run in the upper deck. During Judge’s blistering first half, the righty was an equal opportunity hitter, hitting the ball successfully to all fields, so to see him start to use right field again could be a sign he is starting to crawl out of his slump.

Aroldis Chapman
The Yankee closer has had some rough games against Boston recently, starting with the walk in walk off loss in Boston, and ending with the Rafael Devers home run on Sunday. Although he blew the save Sunday, Chapman had some of his best stuff of the season that night, but beating the Red Sox is the most important thing a Yankee player can do. Until he does that, the Cuban Missile is going to hear a lot of criticism from fans and media.

Red Sox Players to Watch

Frank Franklin Ii/AP
Andrew Benintendi
The young outfielder had the Yankees number last series, hitting three home runs in the first two games of the series. In the last week, the lefty is batting .333 with four home runs and 10 RBIs. Quickly becoming a thorn in the side of the Yankee faithful, the Bombers need to find a way to slow down the young slugger if they hope to get back into this division race.

Rafael Devers
Boston’s top prospect recently made a lasting impression on the Yankees rivalry, taking closer Chapman deep on a 103 mph fastball to tie the game on Sunday. He would continue that hot start with a two home run outing the next day. Devers is another young lefty slugger that the Yankees need to control if they want to succeed this series.

Eduardo Nunez
The former Yankee is quickly winning over the hearts in Boston, batting .372 since joining the club. The infielder didn't have too much success in New York, going 2-15 in the series, including a baserunning mistake on Friday when Aaron Hicks gunned down Nunez trying to advance to third on a sac fly.

Conclusion

Sundays blown lead will be the topic of conversation going into this weekend, and the sting still lingers. Although the Bombers stand four games behind the Red Sox for the division, they can still make up a lot on Boston by winning these last two series against them. All the struggles of the last two months could be forgotten if the club could get hot against their rivals.

Article by: Maxx Hotton


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