June 29, 2018
By Joe Astorino
The Yankees head back home after taking 2 out of 3 in Philadelphia. They host the Red Sox in a huge June/July series in the Bronx. Both teams are 2 of the top 3 in the league with the Astros, and both are fighting for AL East supremacy in order to avoid the dreaded 1 game wild card. The season series is currently tied at 3 games apiece, each team defending home field when the other came to town. We’ve seen a high scoring matchup already, a pitching duel, and a brawl so far between these two this year. The weekend series will bring loads of excitement and competitiveness, and whichever team wins the series will gain a lot of extra momentum heading into the all-star break.
GAME ONE: Friday, June 29th @ 7:05 PM
CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.18 ERA) vs Eduardo Rodriguez (9-2, 3.86 ERA)
The Yankees kick off the weekend with the vet CC on the mound. He’s lost his last two starts, but it’s hardly been his fault as he got no run support in either game. We know how CC seems to always show up with his “A” game when the spotlight is the brightest, so expect to come out looking to prove something. He faces Rodriguez who has had a very stellar year and is a valuable piece in the Sox rotation. It’ll be interesting to see how Aaron Boone makes the lineup against the solid lefty.
GAME TWO: Saturday, June 30th @ 7:15 PM on FOX
Sonny Gray (5-5, 4.93 ERA) vs Chris Sale (7-4, 2.56 ERA)
Sonny faces a tough task in game two of the series, matched up against Boston ace and Cy Young hopeful Chris Sale. Sale has been on fire lately, with over 35 strikeouts in his last 4 games. He shut down the Yankees in April, striking out 10 and only allowing one run. Sonny Gray is still trying to figure things out, after giving up 4 runs to Tampa Bay last time out. He got rocked in April by Boston, giving up 6 runs.
GAME THREE: Sunday, July 1st @8:05 PM on ESPN
Luis Severino (12-2, 2.10 ERA) vs David Price (9-5, 3.66 ERA)
In the Sunday night finale, our ace and Cy Young hopeful takes the mound in front of the whole baseball world in the primetime slot. He’ll face David Price, who was scratched from his last start vs NYY with an injury. He also only pitched one inning in the April series vs the Yankees due to a numb throwing hand. He’s been hot of late and the Yankee bats will need to stay focused to get runs against him. Severino continues to show elite stuff start in and start out, doing everything he’s asked of. He has 132 strikeouts this year and still has a WHIP under 1.00. Sevy has had 2 starts against Boston this year, giving up 5 runs in a loss in April, and getting an 11 strikeout no-decision in May.
Few things are better for baseball than a series between the Yankees and Red Sox. Both teams are having a historic season and have elite players. It’ll be fun to see how the Yanks attack three left handed starters in the series. Greg Bird has been struggling, and the Yankees really need him to do well, especially with Gary Sanchez out with injury. The Red Sox bring the big bats of J.D. Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and also bring their star closer Craig Kimbrel. Each of those players have had great years and have been leading Boston to a record that’s on par with the Yankees. It’s going to be a real exciting series.
BOLD PREDICTION: The Fourth of July may be a few days after the series ends. But don’t be surprised if we get some fireworks a little early. We all remember the brawl back in April between Tyler Austin and Joe Kelly, and something feels like it’s not all resolved just yet. Even though Austin is currently down with the triple A club in Scranton, the Yankees seem to be a tight knit group who has each others back. Also, the forecast is calling for temperatures in the 90’s and even nearing the 100’s this weekend. The ball will be flying off the bat, and I have a feeling the players might be heated as well.
NYY SPORTS TALK’S TWO LOCK-IN STATEMENTS FOR TONIGHT’S GAME 6/10:
Giancarlo Stanton + Didi Gregorius OVER 1.5 RBI’S
CC Sabathia OVER 6.5 Ks