Ah, yes. We are about to have our fix of the best rivalry in sports for the first time this season.

The New York Yankees will wrap up their seven-game home stand with a three-game set against their longtime hated American League East rival Boston Red Sox.

After the Yankees were swept out of Detroit by the lowly Tigers last weekend, they were able to split a four-game series with their other heated division rival, the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Red Sox come to town 2.5 games up on the Yankees for second place in the division but are fresh off losing three-of-four to the Houston Astros.

There is no denying that there is a lot riding on this critical AL East matchup and Inside the Pinstripes is here to bring you a preview of what to expect.

Pitching Probables:

Game 1: Michael King vs. Nathan Eovaldi

With Corey Kluber out for at least the next few months, the Yankees will go with Michael King to fill his spot in this series.

King suffered a loss to the Detroit Tigers in his last outing, giving up four runs (two earned) in 2.1 innings. Manager Aaron Boone set his pitch count limit at 60 going into the day but King struggled with his command and exited after reaching 63 pitches with one out in the third.

Overall, King has gone 0-2 with a 2.86 ERA in 22 innings this year.

On the other side, hard throwing righty and former Yankee Nathan Eovaldi is set to get the ball for the Red Sox.

In seven out of 11 starts this year, Eovaldi has given up only two runs or less. That’s impressive and is one of the reasons that he has posted a 6-2 record, to go along with a 4.01 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.

Game 2: Jameson Taillon vs. Eduardo Rodriguez

Yankees righty Jameson Taillon will take the hill on Saturday. While Taillon’s overall numbers this season have been poor—1-4, 5.10 ERA and 10 home runs allowed—he is coming off two decent starts.

The right-hander has still yet to give his team much length, however he has only given up three runs in his last 10 innings across two outings.

As for Boston, they will send out their left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who has had a nightmare season so far. In the month of May, Rodriguez was 1-4 with a 7.28 ERA.

Game 3: Domingo Germán vs. Garrett Richards

In the final game of the series, Domingo Germán will get the ball for the Yankees. In his previous start, he gave up three runs in five innings to the Tampa Bay Rays in a no-decision.

Germán hasn’t exactly provided the best length in his last two starts going 10.2 innings, but regardless, his overall numbers have been pretty impressive. In his last seven outings, Germán is 3-1 with a 2.36 ERA and 0.83 WHIP.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox have Garrett Richards going for them, who has been on a tear in his last seven starts, posting a 4-2 record and 2.70 ERA. Richards has struggled at Yankee Stadium in his career, however, posting a 0-4 record and 7.43 ERA in five starts.

Final Outlook

The Yankees have played like a roller coaster lately. A lot of ups and downs.

They got swept by the Tigers, lost the first game to the Rays, but then won two straight. An ugly 9-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday, however, where their ace Gerrit Cole got hit hard, was not how they would’ve hoped to finish their four-game set.

While getting Giancarlo Stanton back from the IL was looked at as a major boost, he hasn’t performed right away either as he is 1-for-16 with nine strikeouts since returning to the lineup. What’s even more concerning is that Aaron Boone gave Stanton two days off in the series.

Unfortunately for the Yankees’ lineup, they also lost first baseman Luke Voit to the IL again, this time with a strained oblique.

While the Red Sox just lost three out of four games to the Houston Astros, that’s no reason to take this team lightly. Their offense is ranked third in the MLB with a .256/.316/.437 slash line as a group. They have also scored the third-most runs in baseball at 272.

Boston’s star-studded offense is highlighted by the left side of their infield in shortstop Xander Bogaerts and third baseman Rafael Devers, who have hit a combined 24 home runs and driven in 74 RBIs. Designated hitter J.D. Martinez has bounced back after a poor 2020 campaign and is slashing .320/.391/.565 with 12 homers and 39 RBIs. 

Martinez’s 64 hits are sixth-best in MLB and his .956 OPS is eighth-best. Between Martinez, Devers and Bogaerts, all three hitters have an OPS north of .900, which is very impressive in this day-and-age. Especially when offensive numbers are down across the board this season.

The Yankees will certainly have their work cut out for them in this crucial series, and their bats must wake up if they hope to keep pace in this tough and highly competitive division.

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