Previewing the weekend series in the Bronx between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
The first place Boston Red Sox (17-11) continue their road trip with a visit to New York to take on the last place Yankees (9-17).
The Red Sox swept the Yankees at Fenway Park last weekend, but beating up on a struggling team did little to build enthusiasm over the Boston’s fast start to the season. People still asked, who have they beaten?
Well, that question was answered emphatically this week when the Red Sox stormed into Chicago to take two out of three against a White Sox team that holds the best record in the American League. No team has been hotter than the Red Sox of late, who have won 8 of their last 10.
Meanwhile, the Yankees are trending in the opposite direction, losing 8 of their last 10. Earlier this week they dropped two out of three to a Baltimore Orioles team nipping at the heels of the Red Sox in the AL East.
- Take another look at the list of Red Sox starters for this series. Entering this season you would have expected that this staff would have an ace pitcher that would be among the league leaders in Wins and ERA. If you guessed that it would be Porcello and Wright leading the way, well congratulations, but nobody believes you predicted that.
- When these teams met last weekend it was Alex Rodriguez doing most of the damage against the Red Sox. A-Rod went 3-for-11 with a pair of homers and 5 RBI in the series. Luckily for the Red Sox they won’t need to worry about his presence in the lineup, as Rodriguez has since been placed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. He currently leads the Yankees in home runs (5) and RBI (12), so they can ill-afford to be without him for long given that they already rank last in the AL in runs scored.
- The Red Sox optioned Henry Owens back to Pawutcket on Friday following a disappointing outing the previous night. 28-year old right-hander Sean O’Sullivan has been called up and may take his place in the rotation for a start on Tuesday. O’Sullivan has a 3.00 ERA in five starts for Pawtucket this season.
Red Sox: David Ortiz
2016 season (26 Games): .319/.413/.638, 6 HR, 23 RBI
Career vs Yankees (227 Games): .308/.397/.571, 49 HR, 161 RBI
If anyone thought that the 40-year old slugger would start to slow down in his final season, they were sadly mistaken. Ortiz is off to a scorching start, leading the team in OBP, HRs and RBI. He has a long history of giving the Yankees nightmares and already has a pair of homers in three games against them this season.
New York Yankees: Jacoby Ellsbury
2016 season (26 Games): .260/.315/.380, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 7 SB
Career vs Red Sox (35 Games): .259/.325/.401, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 5 SB
The lead-off hitter for the Yankees got off to a slow start this season, but he’s been heating up over the past week. In his last 6 games, Ellsbury is 7-for-21 (.333) at the plate with three doubles. The speedy outfielder is also tied for 3rd in the league in steals, so Red Sox pitchers will need to be mindful anytime he reaches base.