The New York Yankees are set to face off against the Boston Red Sox to secure first-place in the division. The Red Sox have squeezed by a recently cold Yankees team to earn a one-game lead going into Friday’s game.
Both teams have been on fire this season, with the Sox winning their last four games and the Yankees winning only two of their last six games. The bombers will look to return to form on the arm of CC Sabathia, the Yankees veteran pitcher. He will take on Eduardo Rodriguez, who’s entering the game wit a 9-2 record (386 ERA). It will be a good matchup, but for a Yankees lineup that has struggles as of late, they will need to return to form to defeat the No. 1 team in the American League.
How impressive have both teams been?
Both the Yankees and Red Sox have enjoyed 17-1 winning streaks this season, the only two teams to do so. These two teams are the strongest they’ve ever been at this point in the season, with winning percentages of 6.67 (Yankees) 6.71 (Red Sox).
For the Yankees, only several hitters have been consistent as of late – Didi Gregorious, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Austin Romine. You can throw in both Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar, but they have seen their fair share of the rookie bumps. They will need to bring their A-game against Boston, who are seeking a firm lead. The one Yankee that has stepped his game up significant is Aaron Hicks. He’s currently hitting .252 with 11 home-runs over 61 games. He has been a trusted lead-off man since Brett Gardner sustained an injury.
The biggest struggle for the Yankees in this matchup will be the bull-pen, as the Yankees have given up several leads. With the bats quiet, it makes covering up those costly runs much more difficult. Both teams are averaging about 5.16-17 runs per game, which should put them on an equal playing field, but baseball is a lot about hot streaks and gaining confidence at the right time. The Yankees have been struggling to maintain their confidence and abilities over the past week, but a series win against the Sox would get them back on track as we head toward the All Star Break.