The Yankees came into this series with two main objectives: stay ahead of Oakland in the Wild Card standings, and don’t let Boston clinch the AL East at Yankee Stadium. So far they’ve been right on track with both, having won the first two games of this series against the Red Sox.
Now, Masahiro Tanaka, he of the 2.09 ERA in the second half, can lock up a huge sweep of that other team in the Northeast. Everything has gone right for Tanaka since the All-Star break, with his walks down, strikeouts up, and crucially, his HR/9 rate has gone from 1.94 down to 0.7. Against Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, keeping the ball in the park becomes paramount.
Meanwhile, Eduardo Rodriguez has been something of a revelation for the Red Sox this season, putting together a more-than-solid 3.53 ERA and 3.45 FIP. He’s cut down on his walks and greatly increased his groundball rate, which certainly is how you want to approach a disciplined, fly ball team like the Yankees.
Ralph Lauren will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch tonight, which I guess makes him the team’s new clothes-er.
First pitch is at 7:05pm EDT, on YES, FOX Sports GO, and WFAN.