Red Sox vs Yankees, one of the greatest rivalries in sports is about to continue on Tuesday. This could be a preview for the AL East Division title match-up throughout the year, and the games should be fun to watch. The games were a thrill last year, with the Yankees taking eleven in the series.
The series will last three games, going from Tuesday to Thursday. The Red Sox will come in at 8-1, which is first in the AL East. The Yankees will come in at 5-5, ranking third in the division. The probable pitchers are Sale and Severino in game one, Price against Tanaka in game two, and Porcello vs Gray in the finale. Xander Bogaerts was placed on the ten day DL, but the teams should be at full strength. First-year managers Alex Cora and Aaron Boone will be going at it for the first time.
What’s at Stake for the Red Sox
The Red Sox are 8-1, but they have played easy competition. The Marlins and Rays are unlikely to win more than 70 games, so the Red Sox must prove themselves. The Red Sox have not blown out the easy competition either. Six of the eight wins have been by two runs or less. One of those wins took extra innings, and another took a sixth run eighth inning.
The Red Sox lineup has been average at best so far, and they will be put to the test against a tough three starters. Comebacks will be unlikely, as the Yankees have the lethal 7-8-9 pairing of Robertson, Betances, and Chapman. Xander Bogaerts has been the best hitter in the lineup so far this season, and the Red Sox will need to find a way to score without him. Hitters who are struggling such as Jackie Bradley Jr. (115 avg), Andrew Benintendi (161 avg), and J.D. Martinez (226 avg) will all have to step up.
The rotation has been dominant so far, but the Yankees’ lineup will put that to the test. Luckily for the Sox, they have their three best starters going for them in the series. If the offense fails to produce runs, then the Sox will have to find ways to grind out wins. The bullpen has been shaky aside from Kimbrel, and they still do not have a determined eighth-inning man. If the games are tough and low scoring, then the Red Sox bullpen will have to win games.
What’s at Stake for the Yankees
The Yankees have been disappointing this year, with the offense to blame for the most part. Giancarlo Stanton has been the most notable, with twenty strikeouts in 42 at-bats. Aaron Judge has not been much better, with 13 strikeouts in 38 at-bats. If the games are low scoring, then the Yankees will have to grind out enough runs, and they have not shown the ability to do that. The Yankees are a team with a lot of power, but they are also screwed when they are not mashing the ball over the ballpark. The average pitching rotation has to be superb, and the offense has to find a way to score without many players that hit for average.
Don’t Overreact Either Way
The series will be exciting, but at the end of the day, it’s just the fourth series of the year. If they win or lose every game by 30 runs, not much can be taken out of the games because much will change from now until September. My prediction is that the Red Sox will take ⅔, with them winning the first and last games.
Cover image courtesy of USA Today.