The Yankees take off to Boston for a quite important three game series against their rivals. The Bombers are riding high after a 7-2 stretch against the Jays, A’s, and Royals that has them at 40-34 and four games back from the division-leading Rays.
Another consecutive series win would start a real push to take this division home. Let’s hope they keep the good times going and finish the series close to the top of the AL East.
Enter the Rivalry!
Their Story So Far
The long-time rivals stand at 44-31 and are neck-deep in contention after being disregarded by most entering this year. Things seem to be coming back down to earth for them though, with the Red Sox posting a 12-10 record in June, losing 8 of their last 14 games, and furthermore, losing 2 out of 3 against the Rays in the Trop in their last series.
This fall has a really solid explanation as well. Last time we checked on Boston, they had one of MLB’s best offenses. This time around they’ve slumped their way to a 103 wRC+, that is now the 10th best of league. This in my opinion is a more accurate representation of where they should be, they have some guys that can mash for sure but that lineup is way too top heavy.
Leading the offensive firepower are the usual suspects: Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and J.D. Martínez with 153, 146, and 143 OPS+ values respectively. That’s as fearsome a trio as you can find, and there is also Alex Verdugo being a nice compliment with a 118 OPS+. The problem for them is that they also feature 3 sub 90 OPS+ players regularly in Bobby Dalbec (82 from a 1B. Yikes), Christian Vázquez, and Kike Hernández. That’s the lane where pitcher can breathe against the lineup.
In terms of the pitching the picture is also not the best for Boston. As a team they feature a 4.27 ERA and 8.8 pitching WAR on the season, those values represent the 16th and 9th best in the league respectively and describe the Sox staff as a practically middle of the pack staff.
Leading that pack for Boston is old friend Nathan Eovaldi, who has accumulated the most pitching WAR with 1.6 bWAR value and a 116 ERA+. He is definitely not an ace but is still a solid starter to have on your team. After him, the best arms they have are all relievers, where they have 5 different guys with 20+ innings and ERA+ over 150 in Matt Barnes, Hirokazu Sawamura, Darwinzon Hernández, and old friends Adam Ottavino and Garret Whitlock. Some of those guys feel fluky (Otto and Hernández especially), but right now it is a pretty darn good ‘pen.
|Christian Arroyo||2B||Knee||At least July 2|
|Kevin Plawecki||C||Harmstring||At least July 1|
|Chris Sale||SP||Elbow||At least July 19|
|Matt Carasiti||RP||Elbow||At least June 25|
|Ryan Brasier||RP||Concussion||At least June 25|
|Thad Ward||P||Elbow||Out for the season|
Here is the projected lineup according to Roster Resource’s Depth Chart and their lines to date:
- Michael Chavis, 2B (.273/.273/.485 100 wRC+)
- Alex Verdugo, LF (.286/.351/.451 116 wRC+)
- J.D. Martínez, DH (.306/.365/.545 142 wRC+)
- Xander Bogaerts, SS (.324/.388/.552 152 wRC+)
- Rafael Devers, 3B (.282/.345/.579 142 wRC+)
- Hunter Renfroe, RF (.260/.316/.439 103 wRC+)
- Kike Hernández, CF (.235/.297/.401 88 wRC+)
- Christian Vázquez, C (.253/.298/.347 75 wRC+) Remenber when people said he was better than Gary? LOL
- Bobby Dalbec, 1B (.211/.265/.417 81 wRC+) Pretty safe to say he hasn’t looked good
- Connor Wong, C/INF No PA this season
- Marwin González, INF/OF (.195/.274/.295 57 wRC+) There was a time where I wanted him for the Yank’s, yikes.
- Danny Santana, OF/INF (.123/.208/.246 24 wRC+)
Friday, 7:10 p.m. ET
RHP Domingo Germán (100 ERA+, 1.1 bWAR in 69 IP)
Domingo has been struggling the last few starts, allowing 3 or more runs in 3 of his last 4 starts while allowing 5 homers. The only start he allowed less than 3 runs? Against the Red Sox, let’s hope he does well today as well. (Stats vs. Red Sox)
LHP Martín Pérez (105 ERA+, 0.7 bWAR in 66.2 IP)
Pérez hasn’t fared too well lately too. Allowing 5 or more runs in two of his last 3 starts. His last one was much better, going 5 allowing just 1. Pérez’s stuff is nothing to write home about, and he does his thing mostly by commanding his repertoire and trying to get grounders. (Stats vs. Yankees)
Saturday, 7:15 p.m. ET
LHP Jordan Montgomery (104 ERA+, 1.3 bWAR in 76 IP)
Monty has been inconsistent in terms of run prevention all season long, although the team has provided consistent results for him winning 11 of his 14 started games. He has been unlucky, underperforming his 3.91 and 3.63 xERA and FIP values. (Stats vs. Red Sox)
RHP Nathan Eovaldi (116 ERA+, 1.6 bWAR in 83 IP)
Nate Eovaldi has been rotating great starts with decent to bad ones. He still throws extremely hard (97.4 avg. 4-seamer velo) but doesn’t miss as many bats as a guy with his stuff should (22.1 K%). (Stats vs. Yankees)
Sunday, 1:10 p.m. ET
RHP Gerrit Cole (180 ERA+, 3.9 bWAR in 96.2 IP)
Even with all the sticky stuff controversy and his spin rates lower than usual, he is still doing pretty dang good. Gerrit has allowed just 2 runs going at least 6 innings in each of his last 3 starts. With his competitiveness, the fight for the division, and the rivalry, that Sunday game should be pretty much must-watch baseball. (Stats vs. Red Sox)
LHP Eduardo Rodríguez (75 ERA+, -0.6 bWAR in 72.2 IP (Ouch))
Eduardo has been awful this season (as his numbers indicate). And he is not finding his rhythm either, allowing 4 or more runs in 7 of his last 8 starts. His peripherals and quality of contacts stats don’t show anything preoccupying although, leading me to think he has just been insanely unlucky.
Most of the Sox top guys have worked 2 of the last 3 days, although in short outings. Their best weapons that do have some rest the last days are Sawamura and Whitlock, who have both been amazing. Expect Cora to use this bullpen agresively, going to it early and going batter to batter with them as he did versus the Rays.