The New York Yankees are gearing up to face off against the Boston Red Sox on April 7, otherwise known as opening day. Last year, the Yankees lost to Boston at Fenway in a Wild Card matchup that once again resulted in an early knockout for general manager Brian Cashman’s team.
However, the Bombers are looking to take a step forward this season, despite not investing any money in the starting pitching rotation and acquiring stopgap shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Minnesota Twins. The Yankees sent Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela on their way in exchange.
However, with opening day starters announced, let’s take a look at who will take the mound!
Yankees Vs. Red Sox Opening Day starting pitchers:
Cole has struggled this spring to get going, but he usually needs a bit of time before finding his groove. Last season, Cole recorded a 3.23 ERA over 181.1 innings. He posted a 12.06 strikeout per nine rate, 77.9% left on-base percentage, and his best ground-ball percentage since 2017 at 43.1%.
Cole also saw his fastball average out at 97.7 miles an hour, the highest of his career. However, this was the first time his fastball usage dropped below 50% since entering the MLB. He utilized his changeup at a career-high 14.2%, throwing it 89.9 mph.
Of course, Cole was always going to be the opening day starter, considering he’s the team’s ace and one of the highest-paid pitchers in the league.
The Red Sox will feature Nathan Eovaldi as their opening day starter for the third consecutive season.
Eovaldi received the nod over Chris Sale, who suffered a stress fracture in his rib. Eovaldi finished the 2021 season as the fourth-ranked pitcher in Cy Young voting, winning 11 games with a 3.75 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 195 strikeouts.
At 32 years old, Eovaldi is one year older than Cole but has enjoyed two solid campaigns with Boston. Nathan spent two years between 2015 and 2016 with the Yankees, recording a best 4.20 ERA.
This matchup will be a great way to open the 2022 season, especially with both players featuring top-tier fastballs.