Red Sox and Yankees square off for the division lead.
By Damian Dydyn
Eduardo Rodriguez (3.86 ERA, 9-2) vs C.C. Sabathia (3.69 ERA, 4-3)
This one looks like an advantage for the Red Sox. While Sabathia has the better ERA, Rodriguez has significant advantages when we look beneath the hood. With a 3.54 FIP and a 3.76 versus 4.18 and 4.36 for Sabathia, we can trust Eduardo’s ERA to be more accurate. He also enjoys a nearly 3 K/9 advantage over his Yankees counterpart. Sabathia has looked better in his last five starts. But only because Eduardo had a rough go of it his last time out. Prior to his June 23 start, Rodriguez had gone at least 5.2 IP while giving up 2 or fewer runs in six straight games.
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Chris Sale (2.56 ERA, 7-4) vs Sonny Gray (4.93, 5-5)
This has all the makings of the classic “reverse jinx.” Sale has been better than Gray in every way this season. He is well on his way to another top 3 finish in the Cy Young voting. Gray has been a bit of a disappointment since being traded from the Oakland Athletics. Aside from a brief blip between May 27 and June 1, Sale has dominated all season. Meanwhile, Gray has given up 4 or 5 runs in four of his last eight starts. The problem for Chris Sale is run support. His 4.18 RS per game ranks the 39th lowest in MLB. While not quite as bad as he’s suffered in seasons past, the team does struggle to score when he’s on the mound.
David Price (3.66, 9-5) vs Luis Severino (2.10, 12-2)
This match-up obviously favors the Yankees. Severino is making a strong case for his first Cy Young award. And he is well on his way to cementing his status as one of baseball’s elite aces. David Price has righted the ship finally. But he has settled in as very good, but not the great pitcher he once was. This could end up being a pitcher’s duel, but the Yankees do have some excellent right handed power bats which could give Price fits.