Monday was supposed to be a day off for the Yankees, but as the rainouts continue to pile up, days of rests will be hard to come by. The off day on Monday now has a twin bill on the schedule against the Tigers, after a pair of games were washed (or more like frozen) away back in April due to inclement weather.
This tweak in scheduling likely hurts the Tigers more than the Yankees, as Detroit’s pitching staff is currently in shambles. Francisco Liriano was placed on the 10-day disabled list early last week with a sore hamstring. Jordan Zimmermann is still working his way back from his own injury, while another possible spot-starter in Daniel Norris is on the DL with a groin injury.
Thanks to more bad weather in the Baltimore area, the Yankees had to do some rotation shuffling of their own, as Sonny Gray’s start was pushed from Thursday to Friday night. Sunday’s postponement also changed rotation plans. Simply put, this doubleheader could get weird, so buckle up.
Game One: Luis Severino vs. Drew VerHagen
At least the Yankees have some sort of pitching security for the afternoon game, when Luis Severino takes the mound. The Yankee ace has been superb this season, holding a 2.31 ERA after taking down the mighty Astros last week. Severino doesn’t have the biggest sample size against the Tigers, but he will have to be better against Nicholas Castellanos, who is 4-for-8 against Severino in his career. The Tigers don’t hit for much power, ranking second to last in the majors behind only the Marlins, so a dominating starter like Severino should be able to turn in another effective outing.
A bullpen arm will be starting for the Tigers as Drew VerHagen takes the mound for game one. The righty will be making just his fourth career start, having come primarily out of the pen over the past five seasons. VerHagen does have some history against the Yanks, and allowed two earned runs in 2 1⁄3 innings against the Bombers last season, including a home run to Aaron Hicks.
Game Two: Domingo German vs. Mike Fiers
German was scheduled to start on Domingo, but he’ll settle for the nightcap on Lunes instead, after yesterday’s matinee with the Orioles was postponed, setting up yet another doubleheader down the road. German has been struggling ever since his brilliant performance in his first career start against Cleveland, and heads into the start with a 5.45 ERA. This will be his first time facing the Tigers, as a starter or reliever.
Judging by the Yankees’ career stats against Fiers, the Bombers should have an advantage in game two against the 32-year-old righty. Hicks is 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs (one of them being of the inside-the-park variety), Aaron Judge is 3-for-8 with a dinger, and Neil Walker has a 1.091 OPS in 22 career at-bats against Fiers, who allowed five earned runs in 5 2⁄3 innings earlier this season against the Yanks. He currently owns a 4.45 ERA in 2018.