The Yankees are playing some must-watch baseball at the moment. They jumped out to an early lead last night thanks to a six-run early inning barrage, but the A’s fought all the way back to tie it. At the beginning of the season, a sense of doom might have crept in as the Yankees’ lead evaporated. However, there is just a different feel around the team, with the belief that they can and will win every game — and that’s exactly what happened. The Yankees will carry that belief into tonight’s contest as they go for their 13th win on the trot.
Who better to hand the ball than your ace to keep that streak alive. Gerrit Cole leads the AL Cy Young race, and it’s easy to see why. He paces qualified AL starters in FIP (2.78) and K-BB% (28.9 percent), is second in fWAR (4.3) and third in ERA (2.92). The Yankees will hope he can go deep in tonight’s game after they leaned on their bullpen for more than five innings last night. As he makes his 24th start, Cole is 12-6 with a 2.92 ERA, 2.78 FIP, and 191 strikeouts in 142 innings.
The A’s wisely counter with Sean Manaea, a pitcher who has had the Yankees’ number in recent years. Last time he faced them, Manaea collected a then-career-high 11 strikeouts — all on the sinker — giving up two runs on three hits in 5.1 innings. In his career, Manaea has a 3.60 ERA and 2.70 FIP, while striking out 10.5 per nine across five starts and 30 innings against the Yankees. He will make his 26th start of the season tonight, sitting 8-8 with a 3.77 ERA, 3.66 FIP, and 151 strikeouts in 138.1 innings.
The Yankees go to the jumbo package tonight, with a towering outfield three of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Joey Gallo. Many will also be relieved to see Luke Voit’s name at DH after he inexplicably sat out last night. He’s been the 13th-best hitter in the AL since coming off the Injured List, so it is a relief to see him back in the lineup. Finally, Cole’s personal catcher Kyle Higashioka gives Gary Sánchez the night off.
Meanwhile, the A’s return the same lineup as last night but for one change, with Tony Kemp replacing Mitch Moreland. Matt Chapman, Sean Murphy, and Josh Harrison all slugged home runs last night, so this will be no stroll in the park for Cole.
How to watch
Location: RingCentral Coliseum — Oakland, CA
First pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET
TV broadcast: YES, NBCSCA, MLBN (out-of-market only)
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv