Tonight, the Yankees will play in one of the most interesting events of the season when they take on the White Sox at the Field of Dreams Game in a cornfield in Dyersville, Iowa. While the novelty of that takes the headlines, the other two games should definitely be ones to watch as well.
Thanks to their recent run, the Yankees have gotten themselves on the verge of playoff contention. Meanwhile, the White Sox have a comfortable lead in the Central, and have one of the best records in the American League. The situation was similar a couple months ago when these teams met in the Bronx, and that series ended with a Yankees sweep. Things have gotten weird since then — especially for New York — but things are set up for this to be another intriguing matchup. As for the White Sox, they’ve gotten quite a notable piece back in Eloy Jiménez, and he’s hit the Yankees quite well in the times he’s faced them in previous seasons.
Ahead of tonight’s high-profile game in Iowa, let’s check on the pitching matchups we’ll get over the next few days.
Thursday: Andrew Heaney vs. Lance Lynn (7:00 pm ET)
The Yankees starter in the showpiece game in Iowa will be ... Andrew Heaney? The trade deadline rotation acquisition has not been great in his two starts so far, allowing eight runs in 10 innings. In the last one, the four runs he allowed all came in the first two innings, but he ended up staying in for four more, keeping the Yankees in the game long enough for them to eventually come back to win. If Heaney is mediocre but not too catastrophic, the Yankees will probably take that; it’s just that he has the potential to be catastrophic.
The Yankees missed Lynn last time around, but after Carlos Rodón was scratched and sent to the IL, they’ll now face the former Yankee in the series opener. Lynn has been great all season long and is in contention with Gerrit Cole for the AL Cy Young Award, but he’s actually been worse than his season norms since mid-June. It’s just that that “worse than his norms” is still a 2.93 ERA in 43 innings, raising his season ERA to 2.04 from 1.51.
Saturday: Jameson Taillon vs. Dylan Cease (7:10 pm ET)
The teams will return to Chicago on Saturday, where Taillon is expected to get the start. The resurgent right-hander continued his impressive run with six innings of one-run ball against the Royals, with the lone run being unearned. Thanks to a 1.25 ERA in his last seven starts, Taillon has lowered his season mark by almost two full runs since the beginning of July.
Back on May 22nd, the Yankees got to Cease for five runs in 4.1 innings, and since then, he’s been up and down. The highs are very good, such as one-hitting the Royals two starts ago. On the other hand, there are some major clunkers in there, like the seven runs in 3.1 innings against the Astros back in June.
Sunday: Nestor Cortes vs. Lucas Giolito (2:10 pm ET)
Cortes had one of the worst games of his surprisingly good 2021 campaign when he faced the Royals on Tuesday and Salvador Perez took him deep twice as part of a five-run outing. In general, some of the sheen has come off Cortes recently as he’s surrendered 10 earned runs in his last 17.2 innings.
Somewhat like Cole, Giolito dealt with a notable “sticky stuff” story, and like Cole, he’s had some really good games and some really bad ones since. In his most recent start, he went eight innings, allowing just one run on two hits in a win over the Twins. However in the start right before that, he was knocked out after four innings and six runs against the Royals.