Red Sox vs. Yankees series preview: The rivalry continues

May 24, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; A general view of Fenway Park as the sun sets during the fourth inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Texas Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
May 24, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; A general view of Fenway Park as the sun sets during the fourth inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Texas Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Red Sox (31-25) head to the Bronx to take on the 1st place New York Yankees (32-22) in a three-game series.

The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees share one of the most documented rivalries of all time. There have been many iterations of the rivalry throughout the years. From Ruth and Gehrig, to Billy Martin in the 70’s and 80’s, to the Derek Jeter Yankees, they have always been a thorn in Boston’s side.

Now both teams are young, talented, and are looking to compete head-to-head for the division crown for many years to come.

The Yankees have exceeded most expert’s expectations so far this year. They currently have a two game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East. They have been playing mediocre of late, going 6-4 in their last 10. The Red Sox on the other hand have been playing good baseball of late, having gone 10-4 in their last 14 games.

Pitching Matchups

Tuesday, June 6th at 7:05 PM – Drew Pomeranz (5-3, 4.24 ERA) vs Masahiro Tanaka (5-5, 6.34 ERA)

Wednesday June 7th at 7:05 PM – Rick Porcello (3-7, 4.24 ERA) vs C.C. Sabathia (6-2, 4.12 ERA)

Thursday June 8th at 7:00 PM – David Price (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Michael Pineda (6-3, 3.76 ERA)

Series Notes

  • Mookie Betts has really struggled of late. In the past month has has slashed .248/.336/.495 and has struck out 14 times (which is a lot for Mookie). The bright side is that he has hit for more power, with 6 of his 9 home runs coming in the last month. He has also continued to play great defense. Mookie ranks 1st among qualified right fielders in defensive WAR. The bottom line is that Mookie needs to get back on track and get on base so that the middle of the order can drive him in.
  • The Red Sox luck out by facing two of the Yankees worst starters this year.

    Masahiro Tanaka

    has been a shell of himself this year with an ERA of 6.34. They also face the corpse of

    C.C. Sabathia

    . Even though he has an ERA of 4.12, he is always vulnerable to have a start in which he blows up and allows several runs. The Sox end up avoiding

    Luis Severino

    who has sported a 2.90 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and a K/9 of 10.01. The Red Sox need to capitalize on this opportunity offensively.

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  • The series may end up being a battle of top relievers, with each team having an elite closer. Craig Kimbrel currently has 16 saves, an ERA of 1.07, a WHIP of 0.47, and a K/9 of 17.05. He has looked unhittable for most of the season and continues to baffle hitters. On the other side, the Yankees have Dellin Betances. Betances has been just as dominant as Kimbrel this season, but has had to pitch as the setup man and the closer. He has 5 saves, 6 holds, an ERA of 0.49, WHIP of 0.98, and a K/9 of 16.20. Once one of these guys steps on the mound, you know the game is over.
  • David Price made his second start of the season against the Orioles last series. He was pretty much flawless, going 7 innings and the only run he gave up was a solo shot to Manny Machado in the 7th. Price also struck out 7 batters. I doubt Price will pitch like this every time out, but it is encouraging to see Price perform like this. The Red Sox staff has been banged up all season so it is important for him to come back and give them quality innings.
  • Key Hitters

    Boston Red Sox: Jackie Bradley Jr.

    2017 Season (39 Games): .233/.331/.436, 7 HR, 24 RBI

    Career vs New York Yankees (54 Games): .247/.364/.386, 3 HR, 16 RBI

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    After a tough start to the season, JBJ has turned it around of late. In the last two weeks, he has slashed .297/.447/.505 with 3 HR and 13 RBI.

    He is important because the production from the outfield has not come close to meeting preseason expectations. All three of them have had their struggles, but hopefully Bradley’s recent hot streak can matriculate its way into the other outfielders.

    New York Yankees: Aaron Judge

    2017 Season (52 games): .324/.429/.681, 18 HR, 41 RBI

    Career vs Red Sox (2 games): .167/.375/.667, 1 HR, 2 RBI

    Aaron Judge could easily win the AL MVP at the end of this season. He has been a monster at the plate and has made all of the plays in the field.

    Everyone knew that he had the power to be a middle of the order bat, but he also struck out way too much. This year he has cut down his strikeouts, is hitting well over .300, and has hit been hitting moonshots all season long. Look at the one he hit last series. The Red Sox obviously need to be careful when pitching to him, which is easier said than done.

    Next: Red Sox have become a franchise where fat contracts go to die

    Check back with BoSox Injection prior to the start of every Red Sox series this season for our preview!