Summer kicking into full-gear means that the MLB season and, more specifically, the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is beginning to heat up.
What’s At Stake?
These two teams come into this game as two of the MLB’s best. They are both at the top of the AL East division and are reigning supreme over the entire MLB records-wise as well. This means that we should get another great chapter to this storied rivalry.
Rivalry aside, this game and series is still “chock full” of implications and great pitching/offensive matchups. This game features a pitching duel between C.C. Sabathia and Eduardo Rodriguez.
Despite a less-than-stellar outing vs. Seattle his last time out, Rodriguez has still been one of Boston’s most reliable options on the mound in 2018. Rodriguez has a team-leading 9-2 record and a solid 3.86 ERA. This is paired with 92 strikeouts on the season thus far, which is on pace to defeat his most K’s in a season for his career (150).
Rodriguez has also been extremely successful vs. New York in his career. In his last outing vs. the Yankees, the 25-year-old had 8 strikeouts in 5 scoreless innings. Rodriguez also knows how to dismantle New York’s big bats, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. In their careers vs Rodriguez, Judge and Stanton have a combined .166 batting average and just 1 hit between the two of them.
Rodriguez isn’t the only good pitcher in this game as C.C. Sabathia has found success vs. his opponent as well. In their careers, Sabathia has limited this Red Sox lineup to a .254 batting average and has only given up 2 home runs.
Although he has two losses in his last two outings, Sabathia has pitched very well as of late. In these two losses, Sabathia has only given up 5 runs and earned 14 K’s in just 13 innings.
Two Red Sox players to look out for are their hottest hitters: J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts.
In their last 6 games, the Red Sox have averaged 8 runs and have won all 5 of these games. I expect this game to also be a productive night for Boston’s offense as they will hit well against C.C. Sabathia.
Two Red Sox players to look out for are their hottest hitters: J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts. Martinez has 2 home runs vs. the Yankees this year and will thrive once again on the road. In away games this year, Martinez has 8 homers and 44 base hits in just 40 games.
These successful stats for Martinez will be paired with Betts’ ability to hit against Sabathia. Betts is a career .417 hitter vs. C.C. as he has 10 hits in just 24 at-bats.
New York’s secret to winning this game is in the hands on their new starting catcher: Austin Romine. Romine took over for the injured Gary Sanchez and is sneaky-good vs. Eduardo Rodriguez. In 3 ABs vs. Rodriguez in his career, Romine is 1-3, with that one hit being a home run. Look for Romine to have yet another long ball in the Bronx on Friday night.
In the end, I believe Boston will over-power the Yankees behind a great game from their offense and a solid performance from Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez’s ability to pitch against this star-studded Yankees lineup gives me confidence that he will once again shine in a 5-2 victory for Boston.