New York Yankees Previews: After a rain out, Yankees have day/night doubleheader in Atlanta today

The New York Yankees have traveled to Atlanta, Georgia for their second meet up with the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, but the weather got in the way, causing a day-night doubleheader today. The Yankees swept the Braves at Yankee Stadium, and now the Braves will be looking for revenge.  There will be two differences this time. Yankee slugger Aaron Judge will be back in the lineup after being sidelined by a right calf strain.  For the Braves their star player Ronald Acuna Jr. will be back from a wrist injury.

The games will be played at Truist Park, home of the Braves.  Truist Park is a modern open-air stadium just outside Atlanta in Cumberland, Georgia. The weather today should not be a factor. The game-time (4:10 pm) temperature will be about 86 degrees.  It will be cloudy for the day game, and partly cloudy for the evening game (about 7:30 pm). Both games of the doubleheader will be broadcast on the YES Network and FoxSports Southeast.

A big change going into today’s game is the return of Aaron Judge to the Yankee lineup. Judge has been out since August 11 with a minor right calf strain.  Judge didn’t want to go on the 10 day IL, but manager Aaron Boone put him on it, to avoid him playing too soon and reinjuring the leg. Prior to Judge going on the IL, he had hit 9 home runs since July 29th, with 19 RBI’s.  Judge, who was hitting .290, will return to his number two spot in the lineup, behind either Aaron Hicks or Luke Voit.  Voit has been on a tear hitting five home runs in his last four games, for a team-leading 10 home runs. During a regular season that would equate to about 27 home runs at the halfway point.

Gerrit Cole will take the mound in the day game in Atlanta for his seventh start of the season. Presently he is 4-0, pitching 36 innings, allowing 11 runs with 44 strikeouts. Seven of those 11 runs were via the home run. When the New York Yankees acquired Cole during the offseason, they were expecting big things from the prized righty, and he has lived up to his billing. Cole has not allowed more than three runs in a game this season. In his most recent start on Aug. 19 against Tampa Bay, Cole received no-decision after allowing two runs in 6 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts. Opponents are batting only .197 against the big right-hander. Cole has now not lost a game in the regular season since May 19, 2019. That’s 28 games without a loss, the streak is third-best in all of baseball history.

The Atlanta Braves will send out last night’s proposed starter, Ian Anderson the Braves top pitching prospect.  Anderson, 22, was the third overall pick in the 2016 draft. The right-hander was 8-7 with a 3.38 ERA with 172 strikeouts in 26 starts split over Double-A and Triple-A in 2019.

Both teams have significant injuries. Braves: Jacob Webb: (shoulder), Jeremy Walker: (shoulder), Mike Soroka: (Achilles), Phil Pfeifer: (elbow), Cole Hamels: (left arm), Ronald Acuna Jr.: (wrist), Ozzie Albies: (right wrist). Yankees: Luis Severino: (elbow), James Paxton: (forearm), Tommy Kahnle: (forearm), Zack Britton: (left hamstring), Luis Avilan: (shoulder), Aaron Judge: (lower body), Gleyber Torres: (quad/hamstring), DJ LeMahieu: (thumb), Giancarlo Stanton: (left hamstring), Kyle Higashioka: (right oblique).

The Yankees remained idle over the weekend, when their series with the crosstown New York Mets was postponed due to a Met player and crew member, of their traveling party tested positive for the coronavirus. The Yankees, particularly the bullpen should be well rested for tonight’s game. While the Yankees were idle, they regained the AL East lead by a half a game, due to the Rays losing a game to the Toronto Blue Jays. But with the rainout last night, the Rays took the lead back. The Atlanta Braves lead the NL East.

It may not happen today or tonight, but the New York Yankee fans will soon see pitching prospect Miguel Yajure, who was called up by the Yankees last week. Even though Yajure never has pitched in Triple-A, and has just three games of Double-A experience, he owns very good numbers over his five minor-league seasons (2.47 ERA in 61 games, 54 starts), and had a tremendous 2019 season. Pitching for high-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton last year, he was 9-6 with a 2.14 ERA with 133 strikeouts and 30 walks in 138 2/3 innings over 24 outings, 20 as a starter.

Game 2, approximate starting time at 7:30 pm.

The exact starting time for the second game of the doubleheader has not been announced but will be approximately thirty minutes after the conclusion of the day game.

The Atlanta Braves will have Max Fried on the mound for the second game.  Fried is presently the Braves’ best pitcher.  He is pitching better than the Yankees Gerrit Cole, both have a 4-0 record but Fried’s ERA is an incredible 1.32. Fried has not allowed more than a run in any of his six starts.  Hitters are hitting at a .188 pace off him.  The Yankee hitters will have to solve his devastating slider if they want to get hits off him. The six-foot-four left has not allowed a single home run in his six starts.

The New York Yankees will pit Masahiro Tanaka against Fried.  Tanaka has been inconsistent at best this season.  Although he has shown moments of brilliance, he also has bombed mightily. Tanaka got a late start on the season after being hit in the head late in summer camp.  Tonight will be his fifth start of the season. The Yankees have won two of his games and lost two.  Tanaka has a bit of a new windup and has been relying more on his four-seam fastball. Tanaka continues to be tagged for home runs.  He gave up two in his last outing with the Rays.  He lasted 4.2 innings and gave up five earned runs in the Yankee loss. The Yankees certainly hope he can improve on that tonight, as they face a pitcher that is stingy with hits.