After being postponed, rescheduled, re-postponed, and eventually re-approved, the Yankees finally get to kick off their home-and-home series against the Phillies. The first two games of the four-game set will be in the Bronx, and tonight’s series opener has the makings of an instant classic. A win tonight would keep the Bombers on pace with the 2003 team for the best start to a season. The Phillies play their first game in eight days after awaiting negative coronavirus test results from the team following their series against the COVID-19-stricken Marlins.
Gerrit Cole makes his third start in nine team games for the Yankees, a fact sure to make fans happy given the uncertainty surrounding other parts of the rotation. While having yet to reach top gear, Cole has nonetheless delivered the results the Yankees hoped for out of a staff ace. Cole is 2-0 on the young season, with a 3.09 ERA, 4.25 FIP, and 12 strikeouts in 11.2 innings pitched.
Making his season debut for the visitors is Jake Arrieta. The veteran righty is five years removed from his Cy Young win in 2015, and has steadily declined in the years since. Last year, Arrieta posted his worst season since his days with the Orioles, going 8-8 with a 4.64 ERA, 4.89 FIP, and 110 strikeouts in 135.2 innings pitched while sitting in the bottom 4% of the league in whiff percentage. Regardless, Yankees batters need to lock in, because on his day, Arrieta can still give lineups fits with his sinker/cutter combination.
Can Aaron Judge make it six straight games with a homer? I wouldn’t bet against the big fella. Otherwise, the most notable change to the lineup sees Tyler Wade subbed in for a struggling Gleyber Torres. Mike Ford also gives Luke Voit the night off, despite Voit going yard yesterday. Brett Gardner returns to left, where Miguel Andujar produced a clunker last night allowing Rafael Devers to score from first on a Xander Bogaerts single.
Cole showed flashes of dominance in his last start against Baltimore when he retired 15 batters in a row after the first inning. The Yankees will be hoping he carries that form over onto the bump tonight against a dangerous Phillies lineup that has all the big bats ready for battle.
How to watch:
Location: Yankee Stadium, New York, NY
First pitch: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV broadcast: YES
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM
Online Stream: Fox Sports Go