The New York Yankees (44-44, 23-18 Home) actually entered the All-Star Break on a high note, taking three of four from the AL Central-leading Indians to claw their way back to .500. The Yankees look to continue their winning ways post-ASB when they host the Boston Red Sox (49-38, 19-18 Away) on Friday night at Yankee Stadium (7:05 PM Eastern).
New York’s little winning streak has brought some hope back to Yankee-land; but, they still find themselves 5.5 games back of Boston and Toronto in the AL East, and 7.5 behind division-leading Baltimore.
The Yankees will need a solid start from right-hander Michael Pineda to minimize the damage Boston’s red-hot bats are capable of. Pineda has started 17 games this season, posting a 3-8 record with a 5.38 ERA. He has gone without a win in five straight starts now, with his last win coming June 7 against the lowly Los Angeles Angels. Pineda’s last outing saw him go 6.0 innings, allowing five runs on five hits in a 5-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
Pineda’s name has been tossed around in trade rumors lately, but the Yankees asking price would probably scare most potential buyers away. However, the buzz could still pose as a distraction for the 27-year-old when he takes the mound this Friday.
On the other side, Boston has won six of their last seven, including a four-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays before the All-Star Break. They currently possess the best offense in baseball and their lineup has fared quite well against Pineda in the past. But they may need to rack up the runs in order to get the win, since their own starter inspires little confidence.
The Red Sox will send left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound; he’s only started six games this season, posting a 1-3 record with an 8.59 ERA.
Boston may not have an advantage on the mound, as Rodriguez will not be instilling any fear into the Yankee bats, but the Red Sox top-ranked offense certainly provides them with an edge in this one.
(Photo Credit: Arturo Pardavila III (Flicrk) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/])
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