After failing to sweep the Mariners yesterday, the Yankees head to Minnesota to start the last leg of this nine-game roadtrip. Somehow we’re just one homestand and one road trip away from the end of the regular season. These two teams last met at the end of April when the Bombers swept the four-game series in the midst of their nine-game winning streak. Can they repeat that performance on the road? Here’s a look at the probable pitching matchups.
Game one: J.A. Happ vs. Kyle Gibson
Happ has arguably been the Yankees’ best starter since joining the team at the trade deadline. The southpaw owns a 3.10 ERA with 1.01 WHIP through 40.2 innings in pinstripes. He was roughed up during his August 30th start against the Tigers. However, he bounced back nicely against Oakland, holding the Athletics to just one run through six innings. This will be his first start against the Twins this season.
He will take the mound opposite of Gibson. The right-hander is enjoying the best season of his career, with 118 ERA+ and 8.3 K/9. When he faced the Yankees in April, he notched a season-high ten strikeouts, and limited the Bombers to just one hit. Hopefully the offense can figure him out this time around.
Game two: Sonny Gray vs. TBD
The Yankees decided to give Gray a spot start so that the regular starters would get an extra day of rest. Since being demoted to the bullpen at the beginning of August, Gray has made just one start. He tossed 6.1 scoreless innings against the Orioles with seven strikeouts a couple of weeks ago. Gray has also looked a lot better out of the bullpen than he did in the rotation.
Game three: Luis Severino vs. Jake Odorizzi
It’s difficult to comprehend how bad Severino has been since July. He posted a 2.31 ERA in the first half, and opponents hit just .208 against him. His second-half ERA sits right under 7.00 going into this series, and opponents have slashed .316/.353/.554 across 45.1 innings. He seemed to take a few positive steps forward the last few outings, but was awful again in Oakland. Sevy surrendered five earned runs before he was chased in the third inning. It is imperative that he turn things around before the end of the season.
He will square off against Odorizzi. The Yankees are well-acquainted with the former Rays pitcher. The 28-year-old has been up and down all season (4.57 ERA, 4.31 FIP), but is coming off of a bad start against the Astros. He gave up two home runs and five earned runs to Houston without completing five innings. The Yankees took him deep twice during the series in April. They should do that again.