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New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox: James Paxton vs. Austin Brice

Big Maple looks to get back on track in the Bronx

MLB: New York Yankees at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have had a remarkably successful start to the 2020 season, winning six of their first seven games. The lone loss occurred when James Paxton got shellacked in Washington, allowing three runs in an inning-plus of work.

Big Maple will make his second start of 2020 tonight, and he will have all eyes trained on him. Paxton averaged 92.4 mph on his fourseasm last time out, decidedly down from his 95.4 mph average last season. He also threw from a severely lower release point, leading many to speculate on the left-hander’s health and strength.

“I think [my velocity] will come with time, but it’s definitely something that I want to address and look at going forward,” Paxton told Bryan Hoch after the game. “There’s no pain at all in throwing. I just felt a little sluggish tonight and my arm didn’t feel like it was really live.”

Here’s hoping that’s the case and he can rebound tonight.

Opposite Paxton, the Red Sox will turn to Austin Brice, an opener ahead of a bullpen game. Brice, 28, has appeared in four games this season, allowing four runs in the process. The right-hander spent 2019 pitching out of the Marlins’ bullpen, working to a 3.43 ERA (4.87 FIP). A curveball specialist—and for good reason, his hook has an elite spin rate—Brice also throws a sinker and a show-me fourseamer.

The Yankees are running out the Death Star lineup tonight, with Aaron Hicks back in center field and Miguel Andujar playing left.

And here’s who the Red Sox will send to the plate against Paxton:

First pitch is scheduled for 7:08 PM. You can watch on ESPN, or stream with the WatchESPN app. You can also listen along on WFAN/WADO. Go Yankees, go baseball!