Coming off a four-game split in Oakland, a traditional house of horrors for the Yankees, the club wraps up a West Coast trip with a three-game set in Los Angeles. A series victory against the Angels would send New York back to the Bronx with a winning record from this seven-game stretch and continue the Yankees’ second-half push toward the playoffs.
A familiar face takes the mound for the Yankees tonight, albeit one who has not started for the club in months. Corey Kluber makes his return tonight, after missing more than three months due to injury. For the season, Klubot has pitched to a 3.04 ERA in 53.1 innings and is technically only one start removed from his no-hit magnum opus against Texas. Kluber will almost certainly be on a pitch count tonight, so there is a good chance the Yankees’ bullpen will have to shove against the Angels.
For the Angels, right-hander Mike Mayers will be the first man up in what looks to be a bullpen game. For the season, Mayers has made 59 appearances. In them, he has thrown 59.2 innings to the tune of a 4.07 ERA. He strikes a lot of guys out (11.16 K/9) and he gives up a lot of home runs (1.66 HR/9). Hopefully the Yankees can put a crooked number on him in the first inning and then adjust as necessary to the flood of arms they are likely to see from Joe Maddon and the Angels.
August is almost over, and I suspect that few people are more disappointed by that fact than Aaron Judge. The Yankees slugger has enjoyed a monster August, his best month of the 2021 season in runs scored, doubles, home runs, runs batted in, stolen bases, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and on-base-plus-slugging percentage. With September looming, Judge currently sits sixth among American League position players in bWAR, eighth in batting average, second in OBP, eighth in SLG, and third in OPS. If his September looks anything like his August (or even better, like his September 2017... go look it up), it will bode extremely well for Judge and the ballclub.
Time to bounce back, Yankees. Let’s get back to winning ways, and that starts tonight with beating the Angels.
How to watch
Location: Angel Stadium – Anaheim, CA
First pitch: 9:38 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES, Bally Sports West
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv