By: Ross Sutton
The last time the Yankees and Red Sox faced each other was over a month ago, when the Yankees took two of three from Boston. This series was towards the end of the Yankees incredible 17-2 stretch that catapulted them to the top of the standings in the AL East. Since the end of that series, the Yankees have gone 26-16 and the Red Sox have gone 29-16, resulting in Boston currently holding a one game lead over New York in the standings.
This is probably the most important series either team has played all season, so there is guaranteed to be a playoff atmosphere in the Bronx this weekend. If the Red Sox were to sweep the Yankees, then they would take a four game lead in the division and if the Yankees were to sweep the Sox, they would have a two game lead over Boston, so this series could have a big effect on the AL East standings for the foreseeable future. This series might be more important for the Yankees though, as they are the team trailing in the standings right now.
In the first game of the series, the Yankees have C.C. Sabathia (3.18 ERA) on the hill, and the Sox will start Eduardo Rodriguez (3.86 ERA). This matchup favors the Yankees a little bit, but this game will have a huge impact on the series, as the other two games have pitching matchups that clearly favor one side. The second game of the series will feature Sonny Gray (4.93 ERA) and Chris Sale (2.56 ERA). Due to Sonny’s high ERA and struggles at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees will definitely be the underdogs in this one, needing a great outing from Gray in order to win. The final game of the series will be a matchup between one star and one overpaid bum, as the Yankees will send Luis Severino (2.10 ERA) to the mound to face David Price (3.56 ERA). The Yankees have killed left-handed pitching all year and are scheduled to face three lefties this weekend, so I would be shocked if New York couldn’t win at least one game in the series. Despite the fact that Gary Sanchez will be out for all three games, I think the Yankees will have a good chance to win two of three of these games. The Yanks will have the home crowd behind them, and I think the pitching matchups in games one and three favor the Yankees. C.C. is a big-game pitcher and will likely bring his A-game tonight and the Yankees should be able to get few runs across against Eduardo Rodriguez. The Yankees might need a miracle to win game two though, as Sale is clearly a better pitcher than Sonny Gray right now. I expect to see a few home runs while I am at Sunday’s game, as the Yankees have owned David Price in his recent starts against the Bombers, and Luis Severino has been incredibly dominant over his last few starts. So overall, I think the Yankees will take two of three from the Red Sox this weekend, resulting in a tie for first place in the AL East.
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