The Boston Red Sox are red hot and well rested. The last time they lost was July 30. They have won eight games since then and had two days off, including last night. Boston’s bats have averaged 6.25 runs a game during this streak, and if they keep that pace up over the weekend it’s tough not to see them extending their 4.5 game lead atop the AL East.
Meanwhile, the Yankees are 3-6 in August and have been wildly inconsistent. They have not scored 4+ runs in back-to-back games since July 28/29 wins over Tampa. First-half hero Aaron Judge has cooled off dramatically and Gary Sanchez has been benched for his defense. It’s all going wrong in the Bronx.
Game 1 Starters – Jaime Garcia (LHP) vs Eduardo Rodriguez (LHP)
Eduardo Rodriguez faces the Yankees for the first time this year. Posting a 4.08 ERA and 1.273 WHIP, Rodriguez is the weakest starter Boston will roll out this weekend, though his last start wasn’t terrible. He went six innings, allowing six baserunners and striking out five while giving up just two runs in a no-decision against the White Sox.
Jaime Garcia will make his home debut at Yankee Stadium tonight, but with a 4.49 ERA and 1.359 WHIP he is hardly the streak-stopper the Yankees need.
His only game in pinstripes was a drubbing at the hands of the Cleveland Indians, who rang him up for five earned runs (six total) while scattering nine baserunners (five hits, four walks) through just 4.2 innings. It was a disappointing start for Garcia, albeit his third consecutive start with a different team.
|Red Sox Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Bradley Jr, CF||13||.258||.330|
|Yankees Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|T. Frazier, 3B||19||.214||.336|
Who’s Hot, and Who’s Not
Eduardo Nunez has been on a torrid run since arriving at Fenway, hitting .420 with four homers and 12 RBI in the Red Sox uniform. Rookie third baseman Rafael Devers has cooled off a little, but he is still hitting .333 in the last 15 days while Christian Vazquez is 13-for-27 in the last two weeks, a .481 batting average.
On the other side of the coin, Hanley Ramirez has been quiet of late, hitting just six for his last 32, and Jackie Bradley Jr is an even-worse 7-for-40.
The slump of Aaron Judge has been well documented, and the former runaway MVP is hitting just .174 in the last two weeks, with just 15 hits (one double, five homers) since the All-Star break. Matt Holliday was placed on the DL after a horrible stretch, while Aaron Hicks has just come off the DL, going 0-for-5 in his return last night.
However, Didi Gregorius has been hitting well in recent weeks, batting .333 with a pair of home runs, and Gary Sanchez is at least doing well at the plate, hitting .279 with four homers in the last two weeks, even if he isn’t great behind it.
Prediction: Red Sox 6 – 3 Yankees
New York needs to win this game before they get Drew Pomeranz and Chris Sale over the weekend, but I don’t think they will. Jaime Garcia is far too hittable, and their own bats are so inconsistent there is little chance of stringing hits together on Rodriguez. At the minimum, Garcia needs to eat innings tonight to protect the bullpen.
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