New York Yankees: Red Sox rivalry heats up again tonight, Update

New York Yankees, Domingo German
Jul 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German (55) reacts after allowing a solo home run to Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Yandy Diaz (not pictured) during the first inning of the first game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, the New York Yankees will meet the Boston Red Sox in the third series of the season. The Boston Red Sox have far excelled early-season projections and are leading the AL East. This year, the Sox are 21-10 (.677) against AL East teams this year, the highest winning percentage for any team within its own division in 2021. The Yankees are 1-5 against the Sox and 17-24 inside the division.

The series will be four games starting tonight through Sunday night. All of the games will be night games. All of the games will be nationally televised, highlighting the importance of this series. The game tonight will be on ESPN, Friday night on MLBN out of market, Saturday night on FOX, and return to ESPN for Sunday night’s finale.

The next seven games will be important for all teams, particularly for the New York Yankees that have not played well against East opponents. Four games against the Boston Red Sox and three against the Tampa Bay Rays might very well be a turning point in the Yankees’ underperforming season or another nail in the coffin.

Thursday, July 15, 7:08 pm:

Boston Red Sox ace Eduardo Rodriguez will start tonight’s game. He is 6-5, 5.52 on the mound. He had a string of three straight quality starts snapped in his finale pre-break last Wednesday at the Angels, allowing four runs and nine hits (two homers) over five innings in a loss for the Sox. After a year of not pitching last year due to heart concerns, he has not pitched as well as expected. In his two starts against the New York Yankees this season, he is 1-0 with a 3.97 ERA. Gleyber Torres is 7-for-19 off him, career with three homers.

The Yankees, as of this writing, have not released any of their pitchers for the series. The most likely starter for tonight is Jordan Montgomery. This would normally be Gerrit Cole’s slot, but with pitching a complete 129 pitch game in his last outing, it is doubtful that Aaron Boone will slot him in tonight. Montgomery is 3-4 with an ERA of 4.16; the Yankees have won more of his starts than any other Yankee pitcher.

Update: Tonight’s pitcher will be Domingo German. German has been shaky at best in his last several outings. The righty is 4-5 with an ERA of 4.44. The Yankees have lost five of his last seven starts.

Friday, July 16, 7:05 pm:

Martin Perez will start Friday night’s game. He is a lefty that is 7-5 with an ERA of 4.04. I guess that he will start against the Yankee Nestor Cortes Jr., who has pitched very well in his last several outings. Perez against the Yankees is 2-3 in eight games, giving up 8 home runs. Both DJ LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton have hit .500 off him in eight at-bats. Cortes Jr. is 0-0 in nine games, two starts with an ERA of 1.05. Few Red Sox has seen Nestor Cortes Jr.

Update: Nestor Cortes Jr. will not start Friday’s game, he has been put on the Covid list. Guessing Montgomery that is listed for tonight’s start will start this one instead.

Saturday, July 17th, 7:15 pm:

Saturday night’s game will feather Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi a previous Yankee. He is a righty that if 9-5 with an ERA of 3.66 and with 99 strikeouts on the season of 18 starts. He will probably face either Gerrit Cole or Jameson Taillon. Eovaldi is 59-61 in his career. He is coming off a win against the Yankees on June 26ht. It was a bounce-back night for Eovaldi (8-4), who was coming off his shortest outing of 2021 in which he last just four innings at Kansas City. He is just back after his fourth All-Star Game. In 16 at-bats apiece Aaron Judge and DJ LeMahieu both have .375 batting averages off him.

Sunday, July 18th, 7:08 pm:

Nick Pivetta has been one of the season’s best starters for the Boston Red Sox. He is 7-3 with an ERA of 4.09 with 109 strikeouts. He most likey will face either Taillon or Cole whichever didn’t pitch on Saturday night. Few New York Yankee players have much experience of Pivetta. Only DJ LeMahaieu and Giancarlo Stanton have seen him six or more times. Both hit .300 or better off of him. He is coming off a loss to the Phillies last Sunday.

Note: Not all New York Yankee starting pitchers will pitch on the listed dates, but will pitching at some point in the series.