Yankees vs. Red Sox Series Preview
By Mike Rose
Any time the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox get it on, it’s must see TV. The drama gets even better when each team finds itself in the pennant race. That just so happens to be the case in each team’s first series of the second half with the Yankees just 3.5 games behind the Red Sox for first place in the division standings.
Dates: Friday, July 14 – Sunday, July 16, 2017
Location: Fenway Park
The Yankees would do anything to turn back the clock to the beginning of June when they won six in a row and swept the Orioles out of the Stadium before hitting the west coast. From there, it’s been a steep nosedive for Joe Girardi’s squad who’ve failed to log a series win in each of their last eight tries. This series doesn’t get any bigger for the visitors.
The Red Sox were one of only two teams that amassed 50 wins in the AL heading into the All-Star break. On top of that, they took two of three from the Astros in Houston to let that other team know they mean business. The Red Sox have done their best work at home where they’ve tallied wins in 25 of their 39 played games ( $432 ).
Game 1 Probable Pitchers – Friday, July 14, 2017, 7:10 p.m. ET ( MLB Network )
Undecided vs. Drew Pomeranz
Why the Yankees starting rotation is such a big secret is anyone’s guess. We know who’s going for Boston in all four games, but mums been the word in NY through Wednesday night. It wouldn’t shock me in the least if they just reversed the order from their final series meaning Masahiro Tanaka could go in the opener. The Japanese import was rocked in his final start before the break for 2 HR and 5 ER through 4.1 innings. His club will need him to resort back to the pitcher that tossed three straight quality starts in the three outings prior.
Pomeranz went into the break in a groove leading the Red Sox to wins in each of his last three starts to move his overall record to 9-4 for the year. The lefty did allow 16 hits in his 17 innings pitched during that stretch, but only allowed 3 ER and he hasn’t allowed a home run in his last 23.1 innings. He surrendered two runs ( 1 ER ) through five innings to the Yankees back on June 6, and owns a 2.40 ERA and .323 BAA over five career starts against New York.
Game 2 Probable Pitchers – Saturday, July 15, 2017, 4:05 p.m. ET ( FS1 )
Undecided vs. Chris Sale
This could be Severino’s spot. He was sensational in the first half even though he only managed a 5-4 record. The righty gave up just 92 hits through 106.2 innings and gave Girardi quality efforts in 58.8 percent of his starts. He’s been at his best on the road where he’s the owner of a 3.23 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, but New York has failed to win any of his last four starts away from the Stadium. He shut the Red Sox out through seven innings in his lone appearance against them to date.
The Red Sox ponied up a boatload to bring Sale’s services to Beantown this past offseason, but the lefty has without a doubt lived up to the offering through his 18 made starts. The southpaw closed the first half on a sour note after logging his fourth loss of the year against the Tampa Bay Rays after allowing 2 HR and 4 ER through seven innings. It was a rare non-quality start from the All-Star game starter who’s logged an 83.3 quality start percentage. He fired eight innings of 10 K ball at the Bronx Bombers at the end of April, but still took the loss to fall to 8-4 against them lifetime.
Game 3 Probable Pitchers – Sunday, July 16, 2017, 1:05 p.m. ET ( TBS )
Undecided vs. Rick Porcello
Jordan Montgomery will likely get his turn in one of the two games set to go on Sunday. The rookie wasn’t too good in his two starts prior to the break. The Astros got to him for a couple home runs and 3 ER, and he then only managed to go 4.1 innings against the Brewers who tallied seven hits ( 1 HR ) and a couple runs. The lefty has given up a long ball in each of his last six starts to see his HR/9 average jump up to 1.3. This will be his first career start at Fenway Park and against the Red Sox.
The season as a whole has been incredibly ugly for the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, but the righty did close the first half on a high by tossing quality efforts in three of his final four starts. Last time out, he limited Tampa Bay to just 1 ER through eight innings and tallied eight strikeouts but still took the tough-luck defeat in a 1-0 final. He’s already been beaten by the Yankees twice this season for 13 hits ( 3 HR ) and 8 ER through 13 combined innings.
Game 4 Probable Pitchers – Sunday, July 16, 2017, 8:05 p.m. ET ( ESPN )
Undecided vs. David Price
The Yankees might elect to give CC Sabathia a little more rest after just making his first start off a three week DL stint on the 4th of July. If so, Michael Pineda will get called upon to make start No. 18. He was flat out awful in his first half finale against Toronto who lit him up for nine hits ( 3 HR ) and 5 ER through three innings. Only one of his last five starts have been of quality, but he does own a quality effort against Boston this season whom he limited to just one unearned run with 8 Ks through seven innings of a Yankees carefree 9-1 win back on June 8. He owns a career 4.00 ERA and .271 BAA over seven career Fenway Park starts.
Price will be gunning for his fifth straight quality start when he toes the bump in the finale of Sunday’s day/night doubleheader. Boston has won five of his nine made starts to date with four of those wins coming in his last six. This will be a redemption spot for the lefty who was rocked for a pair of long home runs and 6 ER when he made his third start of the season at Yankees Stadium back on June 8. Tonight’s outing won’t be a picnic either with the Bronx Bombers averaging 5.3 runs per game against left-handed pitching ( No. 5 ).