Good evening everyone, I don’t know about you, but I find myself in an uncharacteristically optimistic mood. Last night’s comeback victory was the most exciting game in what feels like an eternity. The Yankees will hope to carry the positive vibes from that win into tonight’s game in Buffalo.
Gerrit Cole gets the ball for his 14th start of the season. The Yankees ace has been superb as expected, though has come down to earth somewhat after an extraterrestrial first eight starts. His ERA sits north of four over his last five starts and he is averaging only seven strikeouts per game during that span. Much has been made of the foreign-substance crackdown and its potential effect on Cole, but he answered the doubters with a solid performance against the Twins his last time out. On the year, he is 7-3 with a 2.31 ERA, 2.11 FIP, and 113 strikeouts in 81.2 innings.
Ross Stripling will oppose Cole on the mound. The former Dodgers swingman-turned-starter has been hit hard this year, with an expected slugging north of .550 against both the fastball and the slider. He has appeared against the Yankees three times as a Blue Jay, with a four-inning, one-hit performance sandwiched between two three-run outings of 3.1 innings each. In ten appearances (nine starts) this season, he is 2-3 with a 4.91 ERA, 4.57 FIP, and 49 strikeouts in 47.2 innings.
Two of the three Yankees batters who hit home runs last night sit for tonight’s contest. Kyle Higashioka is Cole’s personal catcher, so there’s no room for a resurgent Gary Sánchez. Rougned Odor plays second, shifting DJ LeMahieu to first and bumping Chris Gittens — who recorded his first MLB hit yesterday in the form of a fourth-inning solo shot — from the lineup.
The home side returns the first seven from yesterday’s batting order. Cavan Biggio and Reese McGuire replace Santiago Espinal and Riley Adams. It’s a scary Toronto offense that leads MLB in home runs and sits second in the AL in wRC+, and that’s still without their $150 million man George Springer. They largely have Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to thank, as he leads the AL in the triple crown categories.
How to watch
Location: Sahlen Field, Buffalo, NY
First pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
TV broadcast: YES, SNET-1
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv