This is a no brainer. Most fans outside of these two markets are sick of hearing about them, but it’s been years since both teams are this good.
The Yankees try to take the series after blowing out the Sox 8-1 in the first game Friday night. The victory puts the Yanks in first place by percentage points.
Boston will send their best to the mound in Chris Sale (7-4, 2.56 ERA). The southpaw has been excellent for the Red Sox again this year, striking out a ridiculous 153 batters in just 109 innings. He’s let up more than three earned runs in just two of his 17 starts all season. Sale was the winner in his only start against the Yankees this season on April 10 in Boston, with the Sox taking that game 14-1. Sale went six innings, yielding one earned run and striking out eight.
The Yankees counter with the inconsistent Sonny Gray (5-5, 4.93 ERA). Gray is not exactly meeting the expectations New York had for him when they traded for him last season. He’s pitched some good games, letting up two or fewer earned runs in six of his previous ten starts, but he’s also giving up five or more in four starts since the beginning of the season. On five occasions, he’s failed to pitch into the fifth inning. His 4.93 ERA is definitely down since he sat at 6.39 after his May 11 loss to Oakland.
The Red Sox offense has been led by two potential MVP candidates in Mookie Betts and JD Martinez. Betts is hitting .339 with 20 homers and 41 RBI. He’s also stolen 15 bases. Martinez has powered Boston all year, putting 25 balls in the seats and knocking in 64 runs, both are league highs. He’s also batting .321.
The Yankees offense is the most high-powered in baseball, leading baseball with 131 homers and .459 slugging. Anchored by Aaron Judge (21 homers, .276), the Yankees have threats all the way through their lineup. Didi Gregorious had his name in early MVP talks, but fell off after April. Giancarlo Stanton got off to a sluggish start, but has batted .300 with eight homers over the past month.
The titans clash in the Bronx at 7:15 pm EDT.
photo credit: Jim McIsaac Getty Images