Series Preview: Padres vs. Yankees (5/27-5/29)

The Yankees are still one of the most injured ball clubs in the league yet they continue to put tallies in the win column. The Bronx Bombers are one of the hottest teams in baseball having won ten of their last twelve games. They return home after a short road trip that saw them complete a four-game sweep of the Orioles as well as a 2-1 series win in Kansas City.

The Pinstripes will start a seven-game home stand with a three-game set against the San Diego Padres. The Padres won the Manny Machado sweepstakes this offseason but many figured the 2019 season was going to be a rough one as San Diego sports one of the youngest rosters in the majors. They have vastly outperformed expectations as they sit at 28-25 through 53 games, good for second in the NL West. The Padres come into this series having won five of their last six as they look to keep pace with the LA Dodgers.

The Yanks should look to continue their winning ways against three very young pitchers. The three projected Padre starters have made a combined 59 career big league starts. The early part of this week sets up very nicely for the Yankees to win their eighth consecutive series.

Game One, Monday, May 27, 1:05 EST
Chad Green (0-2, 12.15 ERA) vs Matt Strahm (2-3, 3.06ERA)

Chad Green will open for the second time in three days. His last outing versus Kansas City did not go too well as he allowed three hits and a run in one inning. The Yankees hope he can give them one or two scoreless innings before handing it off to the rest of the bullpen.

Matt Strahm is a 27-year old righty in his fourth big league season, second with the Padres. Strahm likes the hard stuff, throwing his fastball or slider 75 percent of the time, according to Fangraphs. He also mixes in a curve and a changeup. Strahm is not an overpowering pitcher and typically pitches to contact. This season he is averaging just 7.4 K/9. Only four Yankees have faced Strahm, and they have just a combined 11 plate appearances against him. Though a small sample size, the four of them managed just two hits. Strahm will have the advantage the first time through the order.

Game Two, Tuesday, May 28, 6:35 EST
Masahiro Tanaka (3-3, 2.94 ERA) vs Eric Lauer (3-4, 4.73 ERA)

Masahiro Tanaka has been very consistent for the Yanks this season. In his eleven starts Tanaka has given up more than three runs just twice. Over his past three starts his ERA is 0.95. Tanaka has been a guy Boone can rely on to go at least six innings every outing through the first two months of the season.This will be his first start against the San Diego Padres in his five-plus years in the bigs, however, Tanaka is very familiar with two Padre hitters. Former Oriole Manny Machado has 33 career plate appearances against Tanaka, and is hitting a mere .219 with three home runs. Ian Kinsler has 20 PA’s against Tanaka and has also struggled. He is just 3-for-19 against him. Tanaka will be looking for his fifth consecutive quality start come Tuesday night.

Eric Lauer is a 24-year older righty in his second MLB season. He is a fastball/cutter/curveball pitcher with a consistent 15 MPH difference between his four-seamer and curve. Lauer has been very inconsistent in his first two MLB seasons, but he is coming into this start having given up just one run in each of his past two starts, going 5.2 and 7.0 IP, respectively. Only Cameron Maybin and DJ LeMahieu have faced Lauer, and they are a combined 5-for-10 against him. This should give Lauer an advantage during the first time through the order.

Game Three, Wednesday, May 29, 1:05 EST
TBD vs Chris Paddack (4-2, 1.93 ERA)

The Yankees starter for Wednesday is still up in the air. Many believe it will be another ‘bullpen day’ amidst the injury to CC Sabathia.

Chris Paddack has absolutely dominated in what is his rookie season. Maybe the best pitcher in the NL up to this point, Paddack leads the National League with a .760 WHIP and is second among starters with his 1.93 ERA. The young righty only has three pitches in his arsenal (FB, CB, CH), and only really relies on the fastball and changeup. He has a strong command of the zone, mixing his speeds up, down, and side to side. His mid-90’s fastball has allowed him to average nearly 10 K/9.

Paddack has been incredibly consistent this season, giving up three runs or less in all nine of his starts. He has given up no more than five hits in a single outing this season. No Yankee has faced Paddack which will give him the upper-hand during this Wednesday matinee.

Article by: Shane Black


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