The Red Sox have won eight out of their last ten and hold a four-game division lead in the AL East. In this ten game span, their lineup has averaged 5.5 runs per game while their pitching has held opponents to just 3.3 runs per game. They face the Yankees in Boston this weekend with the same sized lead as they did last weekend when they took two out of three.
The Yankees are coming in hot off of a four-game sweep of the Mets in this season’s only Subway Series. There were a few close games against the crosstown rivals due to some shaky bullpen efforts by the Yankees, but their starters looked strong and their lineup showed life. This is a must-win series for New York if they hope to overtake Boston in the AL East.
Game 1 Starters – Jordan Montgomery (LHP) vs Drew Pomeranz (LHP)
Montgomery was called up by the Yankees to be a back-end starter for the 2017 season and he’s performed admirably in the role. He comes into Friday night’s game with a 3.94 ERA and 1.22 WHIP along with an 8.55 K/9. After a rocky July in which he won only one game, he appears to be bouncing back in August, sporting a 1.74 ERA in two starts. He’s pitched in two games against Boston this season, going 0-0 while allowing 4 runs in 9.1 innings.
After a rocky start to the season, Pomeranz has been rock solid for the Red Sox in a rotation that becomes fairly questionable after ace Chris Sale. In the months of June and July, he posted an ERA of 3.00 or under, and he has started off August equally well. Overall, this year the southpaw has a 3.39 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. In three starts against the Yankees, he’s gone 3-0 and combined for 17.2 IP while allowing eight runs and striking out 19.
|Yankees Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Red Sox Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
Who’s Hot, and Who’s Not
August is Gary Sanchez’s month, and no one can tell him otherwise. The Yankees catcher has six home runs in 15 games, including four in his last seven. He’s also batting .333 and slugging .745 in the month. The bat of Didi Gregorius is also picking up. He’s hitting .359 in his last 16 games with 34 total bases, which is good for second on the team over that span.
Since coming back from his injury, Aaron Hicks has been slow to get things started. He’s hitting .182 in eight games in August, although two of his six hits have been home runs. In the past week, Aaron Judge has hit .200 and struck out 13 times, including a three-strikeout game last night against the Mets.
Boston rookies Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi continue their hot streaks as they roll into Friday night. In August, both players have an OPS over 1.000, and the two have combined for nine home runs and 22 RBI in their last twelve games.
Jackie Bradley Jr. is struggling at the plate, having gathered only eight hits in his last 43 at-bats while striking out 16 times. Chris Young is having difficulties, only reaching base five times in his past eight games. Eduardo Nunez has gone six consecutive games without an extra-base hit.
Prediction: Red Sox 7 – 3 Yankees
The red-hot Red Sox hitters will give Montgomery a run for his money tonight. He hasn’t fared especially well against them in the past, so it will be up to the Yankees bullpen to perform if they expect to win. The Yankees are coming off a four-game sweep, but none of the victories were especially decisive, and so they don’t have nearly as much momentum as Boston.
Where to Watch
Tonight’s game will be broadcast on YES, NESN, and MLB Network, and streaming on MLB.TV for out of market subscribers.
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