Weekly Preview – NYY @ BAL 7/29-7/30; BOS @ NYY 7/31-8/2

What a week it’s been, and we haven’t even played a game yet.  News broke early Monday morning that the Miami Marlins had an outbreak of COVID-19 in their locker room that threatened not only their series against the Baltimore Orioles, but also the Yankees vs. the Phillies as well as, potentially, the entire league.  While games on Monday and Tuesday for the Marlins, Orioles, Phillies and Yankees were all postponed, MLB reconfigured the schedule and the Yankees will now head to OPACY to play the Orioles rather than host the Phillies for the 2020 home opener.  The Yankees will then host the Boston Red Sox this weekend as regularly scheduled.


Photo Credit: Alex Brandon/AP Photo

The Yankees opened their season last weekend in our nation’s Capital, taking two out of three against the defending champion Washington Nationals.  This series gave us our first glimpse of Gerrit Cole, some monstrous home runs from Giancarlo Stanton, an utter show of incompetence from James Paxton, and some gritty late-inning resolve as the Yankees overcame a 2-0 deficit on Sunday to beat the Nats by a count of 3-2.  Let’s look ahead to the games on tap this week against the O’s and Red Sox.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020 – Yankees @ Orioles | First Pitch 7:35 PM | TV: YES Network

Gerrit Cole (1-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. Asher Wojciechowski (0-0, -.-- ERA)

Thursday, July 30, 2020 – Yankees @ Orioles | First Pitch 7:35 PM | TV: YES Network

JA Happ (0-0, -.-- ERA) vs. John Means (0-0, -.-- ERA)


Friday, July 31, 2020 – Red Sox @ Yankees| First Pitch 7:05 PM | TV: YES Network, MLB Network

TBD (0-0, -.-- ERA) vs. Jordan Montgomery (0-0, -.-- ERA)

Saturday, August 1, 2020 – Red Sox @ Yankees| First Pitch 7:07 PM | TV: FOX

TBD (0-0, -.-- ERA) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (0-0, -.-- ERA)

Friday, July 31, 2020 – Red Sox @ Yankees| First Pitch 7:08 PM | TV: ESPN

TBD (0-0, -.-- ERA) vs. James Paxton (0-1, 27.00 ERA)


As of Wednesday morning, we only know the pitching matchups for the series against the Orioles, however, manager Aaron Boone has stated that both Jordan Montgomery and Masahiro Tanaka are expected to make their season debuts against the Red Sox.  James Paxton will get the ball for the series finale on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.  The Red Sox don’t have much in the way of a starting rotation currently, so expect at least one of these games to be a bullpen day.  Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez are slated to start against the Mets on Wednesday and Thursday, so unless the Sox make any last second changes, neither will be in line for a start at Yankee Stadium this weekend.


Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox
Photo Credit: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

 

Both the Yankees and the Orioles will take the field on Wednesday night with matching 2-1 records after the O’s took two out of three to start their season at Fenway Park against the Red Sox.  The Red Sox are currently 1-4 after losing two of three to the O’s and then dropping both games at home to the New York Mets the past two nights.

 

What to Watch For:

1.       Gleyber Torres – Torres tormented the Orioles throughout the 2019 season, racking up 13 home runs, 20 RBIs and a ridiculous .394/.467/1.045 slash line. Gleyber started off the series against the Nationals ice cold, but was the key player in the Yankees’ comeback win on Sunday with a solo home run and the go-ahead RBI single.   There’s no hitter in Major League Baseball the Orioles could be less excited to face this weekend than Torres.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

2.      Debuts of Happ, Tanaka & Montgomery – three of the Yankees’ five primary starting pitchers will get their first live game action this week.  Happ looked strong in Spring Training prior to the pause for the pandemic, Tanaka is working his way back from a concussion suffered during Summer Camp and Montgomery looks to get back on track after missing basically all of 2019 recovering from 2018 Tommy John Surgery.

3.      Can Sanchez, Gardner & Hicks get going? – all three looked like zombies at the plate in the opening series against the Nationals.  The Yankees will need these three to start hitting to help take the burden off guys like Judge, Stanton & Torres.

 

The Yankees should have little to no trouble in the five games on the schedule this week, but like Yankees radio play-by-play man John Sterling always says, “You can’t predict baseball, Suzyn”.  Hopefully the Yankees have no trouble against two opponents they are clearly better than (on paper) and keep the pace with the Tampa Bay Rays who have opened up the season white hot at 4-1.


Article by: Andrew Natalizio

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