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New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels: Series Preview

Can the Yankees inch closer to clinching the AL East?

Cleveland Indians vs New York Yankees Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

The weekend in Toronto wasn’t what the Yankees would have been hoping for. They dropped two of three to the Blue Jays and dropped into a tie for the best record in the AL. In better news, their magic number for the AL East dropped to three thanks to the Rays losing. Next up is a trip home and a three-game set against the Angels.

The Angels are a bit banged up at the moment. Both Mike Trout and Shoei Ohtani are out for this series, and the rest of the season, with injuries. Tommy La Stella, who was an All-Star and a pleasant surprise for them this season, is also out. That leaves Brian Goodwin as the Angels player with the highest OPS+ at 115.

Before things get started tonight, let’s take a look at the pitching matchups for the next three days.

Tuesday: Luis Severino vs. Jose Suarez

Sevy is back! Luis Severino will be making his 2019 season debut on Tuesday night. Before making any spring training starts, he went down with shoulder inflammation. He later developed a lat strain, causing what was initially supposed to be an April absence to develop into something that’s kept him out nearly all year. His last start of 2018 was less than ideal, but it’s going to be quite nice to see him back out on a mound.

The Angels will be sending the rookie Suarez to the mound. His short career has not been successful so far. According to game score, his best game all season was one where he lasted just 4.2 innings. Only once has he lasted five or more innings and allowed less than three runs.

Wednesday: CC Sabathia vs. Dillon Peters

Sabathia’s last start was his first since returning from the IL. He went just 3.1 innings before being replaced by Domingo German. It’s a strategy that the Yankees are possibly looking at employing for the postseason, and could very well see again in this game.

Peters started off the season in the Angels’ bullpen, and only started getting used in the rotation in late July. In ten games since then, he has a 4.94 ERA. He hasn’t made it past the fourth inning in either of his last two starts, allowing four runs in each.

Thursday: J.A. Happ vs. Andrew Heaney

Despite dealing with biceps tendinitis and getting a cortisone injection, Happ will likely still be making his start on Thursday. Despite lasting just 4.2 innings and seemingly dealing with all that, his last start continued Happ’s streak of pretty solid pitching. He’s now allowed five combined runs in his last four starts, during which he’s given up just two home runs.

September has not been kind to Heaney so far. He ended August with a 3.95 ERA, but after three starts this month, it’s up to 4.76. He’s given up 14 runs in his last 14.1 innings, which is not a great ratio. However, he was pretty good against the Yankees last season. They scored just three runs in 11.1 innings across two games against Heaney in 2018.