For the first time in 2021, the Yankees and Red Sox will renew their rivalry this weekend.
Last year, the Yankees had Boston’s number, going 9-1 against their old foe. Between the end of the the 2019 season and the first nine meetings of 2020, the Yankees had actually won 12 straight games, a record for the franchise’s longest winning streak against the Red Sox.
In general, Boston wasn’t very good last year, finishing with the third worst record in the American League. This season has been very different so far, however. While the Rays’ hot run has seen them take over the AL East lead, the Red Sox had led the division for a large part of the spring. They’ve been powered by their offense, which has featured a resurgent performance by J.D. Martinez, and really good years by Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers.
Before things kick off tomorrow night, let’s take a look at the pitching matchups we’ll see this weekend.
Friday: Michael King vs. Nathan Eovaldi
Michael King will get another go after taking a start against the Tigers last weekend following Corey Kluber’s injury. After beginning the season with 12.1 scoreless innings, he’s put up an ERA over six in his four appearances since. In said game in Detroit, King gave up four in just 2.1 innings, but only two were earned after Gleyber Torres’ two-error inning.
Former Yankee Eovaldi has put up a league average ERA so far this season, but peripherals suggest he should be better. He hasn’t gone past 6.1 innings since April 7th, but he’s been solid recently, putting up a 2.91 ERA over his last four starts. If the Yankees could handle him like they did on August 15th of last year, that would be much appreciated. (We can hope, right?)
Saturday: Jameson Taillon vs. Eduardo Rodríguez
Taillon’s been better over his last two starts, but still didn’t give the Yankees much length in them. He allowed three total runs on seven hits while striking out nine. On the other hand, he lasted just five innings in each. His only experience against the Red Sox in his career went very well, when he threw seven shutout innings against them back in 2017. However, that was a vastly different lineup than the one he’ll face this weekend.
Rodríguez missed the entire 2020 season dealing with the effects of COVID-19. His return to the rotation this year hasn’t gone smoothly so far. Over his last four starts, he’s allowed 19 runs, with a six-inning outing being the longest he’s gone over that span. On Monday against the Astros, he gave up six runs in just 4.2 innings.
Sunday: Domingo Germán vs. Garrett Richards
After a bad first inning, Germán recovered to put in a solid but unspectacular outing against the Rays on Tuesday. An early-season swoon saw him get sent down, but since then, Germán hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any appearance. From May onward, his ERA is 2.83 with a WHIP under one.
Signed as a free agent in the offseason, Richards has been one of Boston’s better pitchers so far in 2021. He got off a a brutal start to the season, getting knocked out after two innings and six runs in his first game. However, he hasn’t allowed more than four runs in a game in his 10 starts since and has given up just seven total in his last four starts. Back in the day, his MLB debut actually came against the Yankees in 2011 during his young Angels days. The Bombers had his number that day and have in general, but it’s been three years since they last faced him.