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Yankees vs. Royals: Series Preview

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They enjoyed a lengthy break this week, but the Yankees are back in action tonight.

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

This week has felt like the All-Star break arrived two months early. After a scheduled off day on Monday, the Yankees traveled to DC to take on the Nationals. They played five and a half innings before the game was suspended due to bad weather. The storm did not clear out on Wednesday, so both games were rescheduled for June 18th. On the plus side, the Yankees dodged a meeting with Max Scherzer, and should head into this series feeling well-rested. Here’s a look at the probable pitching matchups between New York and Kansas City.

Game 1: CC Sabathia vs. Jakob Junis

It has been a heck of a season for Sabathia so far. He’s off to the best start that he has had in years with a 2.23 ERA through 36 and one-third innings. Remarkably, he held opponents to one or fewer runs during five of his seven starts. He surrendered four runs to the Red Sox during his last outing, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can bounce back tonight. Junis has been all over the place this year. In April, he gave up FIVE home runs to the White Sox during one game. That explains his dreadful 1.92 HR/9. He has been more effective recently, though he was tagged for four runs during his last start against Cleveland.

Game 2: Luis Severino vs. Danny Duffy

Severino seems to get better and better each time he takes the mound. Just one of his nine starts has been bad (the Red Sox game), and he made up for that by striking out 11 Boston batters the next time he faced them. He isn’t quite MLB’s ERA or WAR leader, but he is right up there with them. Sevy will take on Danny Duffy, and the matchup isn’t shaping up to be a pitchers’ duel. Duffy is sporting a 6.51 ERA, 6.19 FIP, and has been worth -0.4 fWAR. His walk rate is up to 4.21 BB/9, and he has surrendered 12 home runs through nine starts. Most recently, he was hit hard by Cleveland, giving up a whopping nine runs over three and one-third innings of work. Aaron Hicks has two career home runs off Duffy. Maybe this is what he needs to get going at the plate.

Game 3: Sonny Gray vs. Eric Skoglund

During his last start, Gray faced his former team for the first time since the trade. Oakland ultimately got the best of him. The A’s hit two dingers and scored five runs off of him on their way to a 10-5 victory. Prior to that, he had put together two decent outings in a row against Cleveland and Houston. Hopefully he can find that stuff in this series finale. Eric Skoglund will take the mound for the Royals. After opening the season with a couple of clunkers, the young left-hander has pitched better lately. He held the Rays to two runs over seven and two-thirds innings earlier in the week.

How do you think the Yankees will do this series?