The New York Yankees are gearing up to face off against the Houston Astros in the final game of a four-game series on Sunday afternoon.
Having lost their last two games, the Yankees will be looking to get back in the win column, despite an 11-game cushion in the AL East. The Astros have proven to be a difficult assignment for the Bombers over the weekend, scoring just one run in the last two games.
The Yankees have the advantage today:
However, the Yankees have a great opportunity to finish the series on a strong note, with Houston featuring José Urquidy on the mound. Urquidy is having a problematic 2022 season, featuring a 4.68 ERA over 67.1 innings.
Urquidy is only striking out 6.95 batters per nine and is allowing 1.74 HRs per nine. His 36.4% ground ball rate is poor, meaning the Yankees can take advantage of flyballs and the short right porch in Yankee stadium.
Urquidy features a fastball, slider, cutter, curveball, and change-up. With a vast array of pitches to utilize, the Yankees will need to be patient. Opposing teams are hitting .309 against his fastball and .286 off his change-up. The Yankees couldn’t ask for a better pitching matchup on Sunday afternoon, especially with Nestor Cortes on the mound.
Cortes is coming off a problematic outing against the Tampa Bay Rays, but he still has the best ERA in the Yankees’ starting rotation. With Houston presenting a legitimate competitor, Cortes will have to be on the top of his game.
Offensively, the Yankees simply need to get back in the home run column, having just missed a few on Saturday afternoon. Being no-hit is not something the Yankees wanted to experience after starting the season on such a high note, but Urquidy is a liability for Houston.
Star slugger Aaron Judge has had a difficult two-game stretch, failing to get on base and striking out three times. Having provided a walk-off single on Thursday night against Houston in a 9th-inning comeback for the ages, their pitching has been stout.
The Yankee sluggers will need to rise to the occasion and provide a bit more production. A pitching battle with the Houston Astros is not a game you want to play, especially since they have one of the best bullpens in baseball.