4/8-4/10 Season/Series Preview: Red Sox @ Yankees
With mere hours to go before the Yankees kick off their 2022 campaign, we’ve reached the point that even a few weeks ago we thought may never come. We finally get to witness Yankee baseball today! An added bonus on top of that is that today’s season opener comes against the rival Boston Red Sox, the team that booted the Yankees out of last season’s playoffs. The Yankees’ season begins with a tough 10 game stretch against division opponents and this season opening series against the Red Sox at home provides the Yankees with a golden opportunity to make a statement and get off to a great start. The team has come under scrutiny for their approach to free agency and team building this offseason. In spite of all that noise, the team performed well this spring and now stands ready to take the field in the Bronx. Lets take a look at some matchups.
|NY Charles Wenzelberg|
Friday 4/8. 1:05pm EST: Gerrit Cole vs Nathan Eovaldi
The Yankees will step into the batters box on Friday against familiar face Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi always pitches the Yankees tough, boasting a career 3.64 ERA against them. Aside from the Yankees jumping on him at Fenway last September, history would suggest the Yankee offense will be in for a challenge.
Gerrit Cole will surely be looking for redemption against this Red Sox team. Cole flamed out spectacularly in the Wild Card game last year, lasting just two innings. The Yankees paid Cole to be the man and the man on a team needs to beat key rivals and win important games. While its hardly a must win, it would be a nice boost for Cole and for this Yankees team for him to pitch well. Cole for his career has a 3.81 career ERA against the Red Sox
Saturday 4/9, 4:05pm EST: Luis Severino vs Nick Pivetta
In 3 career games against the Yankees, Nick Pivetta owns an ERA of 7.00. Pivetta is coming off a season where he posted a 4.53 ERA in 30 starts and 155 innings. These numbers are not that far off from his career marks and Pivetta starting game two of the season for the Red Sox isn’t a glowing endorsement of their pitching depth, especially now that Chris Sale is lost for a while with another injury.
Saturday’s game will mark the long-awaited return by Luis Severino to the Yankees’ starting rotation. Severino has missed parts of the last three seasons with significant injuries and was able to return and pitch effectively out of the bullpen in the second half of last season. This spring, Severino started three games, tossing 7.2 innings and allowing 7 ER. The Yankees will surely be cautious with Severino, especially considering the shortened timetable of spring training. It seems very likely that Severino won’t pitch more than 3 or 4 innings and then the Yankees will go to their bullpen depth. The Yankees took advantage of the temporarily increased roster size of 28 and are carrying 16 pitchers. They will be able to use this depth to take the pressure off Sevy and bring him along slowly in his return. For his career against the Red Sox, Severino owns a 3.89 ERA in 14 games.
Sunday 4/10, 7:08pm EST: Jordan Montgomery vs Tanner Houck
In 5 career games against the Yankees, including 3 starts, Houck owns a 1.86 ERA. The 25 year old has pitched well against the Yankees in an admittedly small sample size and could prove to be a fixture in the Red Sox rotation for years to come. He pitched to a 3.52 ERA in 18 games, including 13 starts last season. The Red Sox are looking for Houck to take the next step in his development this season and would love for that to begin this weekend under the prime-time lights against the Yankees.
The Yankees will counter with Jordan Montgomery. Gumby owns a 3.72 career ERA against the Red Sox in 11 career starts against them. He is coming off a very solid season where he pitched to a 3.83 ERA in 30 starts. He is an important lefty arm in the Yankee rotation and his results last season were very encouraging. The Yankees will hope Gumby can help them secure a series win or sweep and get their season off to a good start.
Opening Day Lineup Prediction:
Aaron Boone has been on record with a few thoughts about his opening day lineup in recent days. Some notable things on that are: He’s already decided upon his opening day lineup and confirmed that Josh Donaldson will leadoff.
In regards to the seemingly crowded infield, he referenced DJ LeMahieu not playing on opening day 2019 but still receiving over 650 plate appearances that season. All of that to say, whoever doesn’t play tomorrow among the Yankee infielders will still feature prominently in their plans and receive regular playing time. This Yankees team features better depth and positional flexibility and is also far less right handed than last year’s opening day squad. A wild card in how the Yankees will line up today is how the team plans to use Aaron Hicks, who is coming off a serious injury and has been moved around a little bit this spring. With all that in mind, let’s take a whack at what the lineup might look like.
Josh Donaldson 3B
Anthony Rizzo 1B
Aaron Judge RF
Giancarlo Stanton DH
DJ LeMahieu 2B
Joey Gallo LF
Aaron Hicks CF
Isiah Kiner-Falefa SS
Kyle Higashioka C
In my perfect world the Yankees would run out an outfield of Gallo – Judge – Stanton most days but given the team’s preference for resting and rotating I don’t think we’ll see it as much as I’d like to. Anyways, that’s my guess. Tweet us or comment us back and let us know what your lineup predictions are! Feels great to say that baseball is back: Let’s go Yankees, beat the Red Sox!
Article by Matt GrazianoFollow @mattgraz930