The New York Yankees absolutely must sweep the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park this weekend.
The Bronx Bombers appear to be running hot after sweeping the annual Subway Series against the New York Mets. The Yankees outscored their crosstown rivals 21-13 in the series and have the momentum they need entering Fenway this weekend.
The red-hot Red Sox
The Yankees enter this series four games behind the first-place Red Sox, a team that has looked borderline invincible as of late. Boston took two out of three against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium just last weekend, a series New York would have won were it not for another blown save by closer Aroldis Chapman. The Red Sox are also 11-2 in August and are coming off a strong come-from-behind win over the St. Louis Cardinals from Wednesday night.
It also helps Boston that, at least on paper, the matchups seem to favour them.
- Friday: Drew Pomeranz (12-4, 3.39 ERA) vs Jordan Montgomery (7-6, 3.94 ERA)
- Saturday: Chris Sale (14-4, 2.51 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (9-5, 4.05 ERA)
- Sunday: Doug Fister (2-6, 5.56 ERA) vs. Sonny Gray (7-7, 3.37 ERA)
Even though Sale has yet to pick up a win against New York this year, the only game of those three that screams favouring the Yankees is the Sunday tilt. No doubt about it, the odds favour Boston tremendously.
Sweep or go home
The Yankees need to make a statement in this series. There’s just no other way to put it.
Think back to September 1978 when New York headed to Boston for a crucial four-game set. The Yankees were four games out of first place at the start of the series, then outscored Boston 42-9 en route to a sweep and a tie for first place in a season that ended with their second consecutive World Series win.
Fast forward now to 2006 when the Yankees marched to Boston for a five-game series and were actually in first place by a slim margin of just 1.5 games. A sweep later and New York held a 6.5 game lead in the AL East and never looked back.
The Yankees are just too good a team on paper to roll over and die whenever the Red Sox enter the picture, and the past couple of series show that this team can get it together when it matters. This is just another one of those times.
The same approach can be used against Sale. Wear him down and have confidence in the pitching to keep the score low. Pomeranz has a .315 BABIP and is beatable while Fister hasn’t been in top form for years.
The Yankees have everything it takes to sweep this series. Now, it’s time for them to go out and do it.
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