Last month, these two American league east rivals met and there was a lot of talk about the brawl that started with Joe Kelly and Tyler Austin. But this time around, the talk might be more focused on just how good these two teams are playing. Tonight will be the first time in the series history that the teams will meet with a win percentage of over .700 this late in the season. Boston got off to an incredible start to the season and while they have cooled off from an obviously unsustainable pace, they are still leading the majors with a 25-9 record. They have been led by Mookie Betts who is an early candidate for MVP, hitting .355 with 14 HR, and 26RBI. New York started very slow but their starting pitching and rookies have led them to a 15-1 stretch and now stand at 24-10. And in that stretch, they have beaten contenders like the Angels, Indians, and Astros.
These two teams have great pitchers but they will be challenged as they will be facing two of the best offenses in the league. The Yankees and the Red Sox come into this series ranking in the top 2 in runs, runs differential per game, and extra base hits.
Drew Pomeranz (1-1,6.14) vs. Luis Severino (5-1, 2.11)
Pomeranz has struggled to start the season and he will be going up against a Yankees lineup that has been a bit inconsistent in where the production has come from but has been surprisingly good at the bottom of the order. With Severino pitching and the Yankees being on a great run, the Yankees take this 5-6.
Rick Porcello (5-0, 2.14) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (4-2, 4.39)
David Price has been sent home for having recurring numbness in his hand so the Red Sox will start Porcello on Wednesday. He is having a Cy Young season again and while Tanaka has pitched better in his last two starts, he struggled in his first start against Boston this season. That being said, the Yankees have hit Porcello decently well at times and I see them using the momentum of the last few weeks to take this one to take the lead in the AL East. Yankees win 5-4
Eduardo Rodriguez (3-0, 5.29) vs. CC Sabathia (2-0, 1.39)
Rodriguez hasn’t been great but he hasn’t been awful either. But either way, he will have his hands full going up against Sabathia, who has been the Yankees second best starting pitcher. He has allowed just one earned run in his last 23 innings and even with the lost velocity, he has been able to locate his pitches and control the strike zone. Sabathia gets the Yankees going but the bullpen loses this one as Boston takes the last game of this series, 7-6 in a thriller.
Regardless of how things turn out, as Hanley Ramirez put it, it should be an exciting series.