The Boston Red Sox versus the New York Yankees is the ultimate baseball treat. Both teams are well on their way to 100+ wins so what to look for this weekend?
The Boston Red Sox host the New York Yankees for a four-game series that begins on Thursday. Here are the key factors to look out for in this upcoming series between the AL East rivals.
A Walk On The Wild Side.
Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel are the closers of note for both teams. Which is better? I’m not sure, but I know who is paid more – Chapman. Chapman also has a 4.1 BB/9 and Kimbrel a 3.8 BB/9. Both are extraordinary at shutting down the opposition and both can be plagued by a sudden loss of control. Save situations may come down to throwing strikes.
A Power Outage
Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez will both be vacant from the Yankees lineup. Both are righties and the Red Sox staff has a battalion of lefties they could feast upon. Sanchez – in the midst of a terrible season – has had three games at Fenway Park in 2018, hitting .308 with two home runs and seven RBI. For his career in just 16 games at the famed ballyard, Sanchez has seven home runs and 18 RBI. Sanchez will not be missed by the Red Sox staff.
For Judge, it is an entirely different story at Fenway Park with just a pair of home runs and a .191 batting average in 12 games. Can Giancarlo Stanton pick up the slack?
For Boston, the missing tour de force is Rafael Devers, who has four career home runs against the Yankees including the memorable one against Chapman.
Martinez versus Stanton
J.D. Martinez was selected as the DH for the All-Star team beating out Stanton by a substantial margin. The comparison will continue as long as they are tethered to their teams. Stanton – if one believes the rumors – rejected a Boston option. One thing is quite clear at this juncture – Martinez is a far superior addition.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
Gleyber Torres (25), Greg Bird (25) and Miguel Andujar (23) are the youthful core of the New York lineup. Torres may be the American League Rookie of the Year with Andujar giving chase. The promise of Bird may finally be realized after a series of nasty injuries. New York has a youth advantage or do they?
Mookie Betts (25), Andrew Benintendi (23), and Xander Bogaerts (25) are certainly age matchups and Devers (21) is in the mix if healthy. What is noticeable is the experience factor. Both Betts and Bogaerts are younger than Judge (26) and have far more service time than the Yankees youth.
The good news of youth is the opportunity to know this will help solidify and intensify the rivalry between the two teams.
Ace’s Not On Display
A marquee matchup between Chris Sale and Luis Severino is not going to materialize with Sale on the DL. Sale has an excellent history against the Yanks in his career (6-4, 1.61) and Severino less so against Boston (3-5, 4.10).
In his last two starts, Severino has been ordinary or below ordinary. Just a few weeks ago the Cy Young Award battle was shaping up as Sale versus Severino and Severino needs a solid performance to build up his CYA resume. Maybe one ace on display or maybe none on display?
New Kids On The Block
Boston corralled Nathan Eovaldi and the Yankees acquired J.A. Happ. Both were exceptional in their debuts with their new teams especially Eovaldi. The deluxe matchup would be mano a mano so one fan base can chuckle at the other. And, yes, for followers of posting boards it encompasses more than chuckles.
Aaron Boone and Alex Cora are in the unenviable position of managing in New York and Boston. Both are in the every glaring spotlight with every move being compounded critically. Both managers have endured injuries to key players and both have had some media scrutiny. Cora has been very upfront about just plain screwing up – a refreshing approach. No doubt a managerial faux pas by either will be exaggerated to the extreme.