The Yanks enter the series with even more injury news, including a setback for Giancarlo Stanton and an earlier-than-expected annual knee treatment for CC Sabathia. Given the opponent, they should still be able to take care of business in Kansas City.
Here are your pitching matchups for the three-game set.
Game one: Chad Green vs. Jakob Junis
James Paxton is still not ready to return, so it looks like Aaron Boone will go with another bullpen day, one that resulted in a win last time against the Rays. Chad Green and his 12.41 ERA (9.24 FIP) will start the day, and you should expect arms like Luis Cessa to also get some work.
Junis takes the bump for the Royals in the series opener, and he can’t hurt Aaron Judge because, well, he’s already hurt. The Yanks will look to hurt Junis on the scoreboard, where the right-hander has allowed at least four earned runs in each of his three previous starts. The Yanks have a .929 OPS against Junis over his career, and Aaron Hicks is 5-for-5 in his short stint against him.
Game two: J.A. Happ vs. Danny Duffy
Will this be the day Happ finally figures it out? The left-hander has been giving up dingers like he was the Orioles pitching to Gleyber Torres, as he’s allowed two home runs in three of his last four outings. He hasn’t faced the Royals this season, but he’s held this current Kansas City roster to a .359 slugging percentage over 78 at-bats during his career.
The Yanks don’t have the same success against Duffy as they do against Junis, posting a .683 OPS over 93 at-bats. Gary Sanchez, however, is 3-for-6 with a double off him. Given the way he’s been hitting, Duffy should tread carefully. The southpaw has a 3.75 FIP over 28.2 innings this season.
Game three: Domingo German vs. Jorge Lopez
It’s Domingo on a Sunday, need I say more? It also helps that German has been among the best pitchers in the game this season. He faced these Royals last month, going six innings and allowing three earned runs. He walked none and struck out nine in that outing.
Lopez faced the Yanks back in April and went seven innings, allowing four earned runs. Since then, he hasn’t been great, allowing 15 earned runs over his last 15 innings. Clint Frazier took Lopez deep and Brett Gardner went 2-for-4.