The Yankees lost two out of three against the Red Sox over the weekend, pushing them to five games out of first in the AL East. They still hold the top Wild Card spot with a 2.5 game lead over Minnesota. In their last ten games, New York has averaged 4.2 runs per game while allowing 4.8 runs per game. They have gone 6-4 during that span and are 1-2 against Detroit this season.
The Tigers’ season is all but lost at this point. At 54-69 they sit 15 games out of the AL Central lead and 9.5 games out of the Wild Card spots. Detroit has gone 2-8 in their last 10 games, allowing 7.3 runs per game and scoring 4.8 runs per game. If they have any chance against the Yankees in this series, their pitching will have to pull it together against a struggling Bombers lineup.
Game 1 Starters – Masahiro Tanaka (RHP) vs Matthew Boyd (LHP)
Tanaka’s struggles have been prevalent for the Yankees this season. The ace of the staff for the last several years comes into this week with a 4.92 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. His K/9, however, sits at a career-best 9.49. What’s most perplexing about Tanaka’s 2017 is the difference between his day and night splits. In day games the righty has an 11.81 ERA while in night games that number drops to 3.20. Fortunately for the Yankees, today’s game is under lights. In Tanaka’s last three starts he has pitched 18 innings and allowed just four runs.
Boyd’s ERA this season is 5.70 and his WHIP is 1.69. In his most recent appearance for Detroit, the lefty appeared as a reliever and allowed one run in 1.1 innings pitched. In his three most recent starts before that, he combined for 14 innings, allowing 12 runs on 20 hits and striking out 16. He has yet to face New York this season.
|Yankees Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Tigers Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
Who’s hot, and who’s not
Chase Headley has picked it up in August, hitting .438 with a 1.149 OPS in his last five games. Three of his seven hits during this span have been doubles. In three games since coming back from the disabled list, Tyler Austin has four hits, including a double and a home run. Both Didi Gregorius and Brett Gardner at batting .348 in their last six games.
Aaron Judge is just 4-for-24 in his last six games. He has also struck out ten times in 27 plate appearances while drawing just three walks. Aaron Hicks has struggled since coming off the DL earlier this month. In 11 games he is batting .156, with just two hits and seven strikeouts in his last 23 at-bats.
Although Miguel Cabrera hasn’t looked like his old self this season, the first baseman is on a tear as of late, hitting .389 in his last five games with a .556 slugging percentage. Justin Upton continues to have a stellar August, sporting a 1.097 OPS in 18 games this month. Of his 20 hits during this span, four have been doubles and nine have been home runs. He has a hit in eight of his last 10 games.
Mikie Mahtook is hitting .143 in his last five games. He has gone 3-for-21 in his last 23 plate appearances with five strikeouts. Jose Iglesias is batting just .128 in August with six RBIs in 14 games. His OPS in those 14 games is an abysmal .397.
Prediction: Yankees 5 – 4 Tigers
I don’t expect the Yankees to run away with this one, but with Detroit throwing Boyd out there and Tanaka’s recently strong performances, I think New York grabs the win. The big question will be how Tanaka pitches after coming off the 10-day DL. If he feels rested and fresh, he has the potential to run through the Tigers struggling lineup.
Where to watch
Today’s game will be broadcast on YES and FSD, and streaming on MLB.TV for out of market subscribers.
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