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Yankees vs White Sox: Series Preview

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On the road again...let’s have a different outcome this time.

MLB: Texas Rangers at New York Yankees Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees head out to the Windy City in desperate need of a winning streak, having just dropped another series and finishing their six game homestand at 2-4. They remain in a virtual tie for first place with the Red Sox, but that won’t last long if they continue to pitch poorly and get injured, with Aaron Hicks being the latest casualty.

The Bombers will square of with a White Sox team going through some troubles of their own, losing three straight to put them in last place in the AL Central. Their record stands at 32-42. Hopefully the Yanks can take advantage of a lesser team and get back to their winning ways in this four-game series with the South Siders.

Here are your pitching matchups for the series:

Game One: Jordan Montgomery vs David Holmberg

Montgomery had a solid outing against the Angels at the Stadium on Wednesday, allowing two runs over 5 23 innings. He faced the White Sox in his second career start back in April and allowed three runs over six innings in a 7-4 Yankee win, in what was also Montgomery’s first career win.

Holmberg will be making his sixth start of the season, as most of his experience has been out of the bullpen. In his last start on Wednesday, he allowed four runs (two earned) in 3 13 innings in a loss to the Twins. Holmberg hasn’t pitched more than five innings in a game this season, so the Yanks will look to jump on him early and tax the Chicago bullpen for the rest of the series.

Game Two: Luis Severino vs Jose Quintana

After starting the month of June with two phenomenal starts, Severino has struggled in his last two outings, most recently surrendering five earned runs in six innings in a loss to the Angels (Tyler Clippard didn’t help). Severino still has a solid 3.30 ERA and had a strong outing against the White Sox in April, allowing three earned runs over eight innings while striking out 10.

Quintana ended the month of May dreadfully but has looked like his old self in June. He continued that trend in his last start by tossing 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Twins while striking out nine and walking nobody. Starlin Castro is likely not looking forward to this game, as he is hitless in 14 career at-bats against Quintana. Could this be the last time the Yanks face him in a White Sox uniform?

Game Three: Masahiro Tanaka vs Mike Pelfrey

Could this be it?? Is Tanaka out of his way-too-long funk? Everyone in Yankees Universe hopes so, and game three of this series will be time to find out.

Tanaka was superb in his last start against the Rangers, matching Yu Darvish pitch-for-pitch in tossing eight shutout innings. It has been a rough road for Tanaka in 2017, and two straight solid starts would go a long way for his confidence the rest of the way. With CC Sabathia out for the foreseeable future, Tanaka will be crucial to the stability of the Yankees’ rotation moving forward.

Pelfrey has actually had a decent season thus far, compiling a 3.73 ERA through 12 starts. He hit a bump in the road in his last start against the A’s, surrendering two runs in the first inning en route to a loss. Pelfrey can lose the zone at times, so look for the Yanks to remain patient at the plate (I’m looking at you, Starlin Castro).

Look for Brett Gardner to jump on Pelfrey if he is throwing strikes. He has a .400 career batting average against Pelfrey in 20 at-bats.

Game Four: Luis Cessa vs James Shields

Cessa wasn’t terrible in his last start against Texas, allowing four runs over four innings of work while striking out four. Not much more can be expected of him at this point, but much more offensive support is required than the lone Aaron Judge home run on Saturday, Cessa’s second start of the season.

Shields was roughed up by a pack of rookies against the A’s on Saturday, giving up six runs through three innings of work in his fifth start of the season. This will be his third start since coming off the DL with a strained lat. His small sample size ERA is 4.26.

Matt Holliday is a Yankee to look out for in the series finale. He is 3-for-9 with a pair of doubles and three walks against Shields for his career.