New York Yankees Vs. Kansas City Royals: Lineups, preview, and prediction (May 18, 2018)
The Yankees head to the midwest after a weather-affected week. Can they find their rhythm against the Royals?
A two-game series against the Washington Nationals went from World Series preview to washout very quickly. They played 5.5 innings on Tuesday before the rain came, and didn’t even get to start on Wednesday. Combine that with a travel day yesterday and it has been a rough week for the Yankees.
The Royals are in a poor run of form. They have won just one of their last eight and were just swept by the Tampa Bay Rays. Their last game was a 5-3 defeat on Wednesday, with Jason Hammel getting pummeled for five earned runs and 10 hits in six innings pitched, leaving the offense in a hole they could not escape.
CC Sabathia (LHP) Vs. Jakob Junis (RHP)
The big veteran lefty has been pitching pretty well this year despite the retirement talk. He’s posting a 2.23 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and is controlling opponents well. He is barely walking a soul while keeping the ball in the park. He is only averaging five innings per start, but they are a good five innings, making him a useful piece of the puzzle for New York.
Junis is finding a bit more success in his second season in the Majors. A 3.53 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 7.9 K/9 all represent improvements on last season. The only worry is that he is slightly up on last year’s home run rate. The 25-year-old has only had one real blowup this season, giving up five homers and six runs to the White Sox. He has done pretty well in his last three starts, but his run of four games in a row allowing a bomb could haunt him against this Yankees lineup.
|Yankees Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
Who’s hot, and who’s not
Neil Walker has been hitting well recently, posting a .360 average over the last two weeks. Gleyber Torres has also been strong, with a .333 average and three homers in the same span. Worryingly for everyone, Giancarlo Stanton has rediscovered his stroke and hot .306 with three homers over the last two weeks. On the flip side, Didi Gregorius has been a mess in the month of May, hitting .118 with just one RBI all month. Tyler Austin and Aaron Hicks have also struggled.
The Royals offense has been performing pretty well in the last two weeks. Whit Merrifield, Lucas Duda, and Jon Jay are all hitting over .360, though Duda is now on the DL. The power has been spread out across the lineup, with Sal Perez mashing four homers, albeit hitting just .208, and Jorge Soler, Alex Gordon, and Mike Moustakas all having a pair of bombs over the last two weeks.
It is tough to take a young, homer-prone, pitcher against the Bronx Bombers. Stanton and Judge are playing well enough right now to cause real problems, while Gary Sanchez’s power is continuing to play even if he isn’t hitting for average. Sabathia has been pitching well, and thanks to the rainouts the Yankees bullpen is well rested, that should be enough to take today’s game in pretty comfortable fashion.