Things get real tonight for the Yanks. The friendly confines of PNC Park are in the rear view mirror, and the Bombers will be in Beantown to take on the AL East’s second-place team, the Sox from Boston for the first game of a four-game weekend series.
Here are four things Yankees fans need to know about the BoSox:
One: Since May 13th, they’ve gone 34-17, which is tied for the second-best record in MLB over that span. The bad news for them is that despite the torrid pace, they lost 2.5 games in the standings to the Yankees over that stretch.
Two: They’re good offensively, but not as good as one might think. The batters rank 12th in MLB in OPS+ and their underlying metrics tell the same story. They don’t walk or strike out at very high rates and they’re horrid on the base paths (worst extra-base taken percentage in MLB but still have been thrown out more than 14 teams). The team’s number seven ranking in Runs Per Game is heavily influenced by playing half their games in a small ballpark.
Three: The Boston pitching staff is average, almost exactly: 13th in K%-BB% and HR%, 14th in SIERA, and 15th in xFIP. They’re better than MLB average in Runs Allowed Per Game (despite playing in Fenway) largely because they rank sixth in Defensive Runs Above Average.
Four: Rafael Devers has the same WAR as Aaron Judge (3.6) and Xander Bogaerts has the same WAR as DJ LeMahieu. That doesn’t mean anything other than I like the symmetry of the teams’ two best players having the same WAR.
Let’s do this, boys. This weekend would be a great time for another Boston Massacre.
Pitching matchups, how to watch:
Tonight: Gerrit Cole vs. Josh Winckowski, first pitch 7:10 PM, EDT. Watch on YES, NESN.
Friday: Nestor Cortes vs. Michael Wacha, first pitch 7:10 PM, EDT. Watch on Prime Video.
Saturday: Jordan Montgomery vs. TBA, first pitch 7:15 PM, EDT. Watch on YES, NESN.
Sunday: Jameson Taillon vs. Nick Pivetta, first pitch 7:08 PM, EDT. Watch on ESPN.
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