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New York Yankees @ Kansas City Royals: Nestor Cortes vs. Kris Bubic

The Yankees aim for seven wins in a row, but No. 7 will have to come on the road in Kansas City.

MLB: MAY 26 Yankees at Royals Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Fresh off a perfect homestand and a six-game winning streak. the Yankees will try to keep their winning ways going tonight in Kansas City. They’ll face a more interesting Royals team than in most seasons since their championship 2015.

Kansas City’s rebuild has helped lead to star rookie Bobby Witt Jr., who is now in the majors. Witt hasn’t had the fastest start, but the 21-year-old’s natural talent could burst through at any moment. Combine Witt with Andrew Benintendi’s scalding-hot start, defending AL home run champ Salvador Perez (I still can’t believe that happened), and a bunch of other good players, and you have the the makings of a fringe contender. I’d put the emphasis on fringe, but hey, it beats the likes of the 2018-21 teams that combined for a sub-.400 winning percentage.

Nestor Cortes is the man tasked with facing the Kansas City lineup today and keeping his hot April going. The lefty allowed his first runs of the season in his last outing against Cleveland but still carries a 1.15 ERA, 1.28 FIP, 14.4 K/9, and 0.638 WHIP into this matchup. All those numbers make me smile. Nestor is ridiculous and I love him.

Kris Bubic gets the ball for the Royals, and while the former 2018 first-round pick turned in roughly league-average seasons in 2020 & 2021, he has experienced essentially the polar opposite of Cortes’ April. The Guardians scored five off him in his season debut when he couldn’t get out of the first inning, the Tigers only plated one but walked six times against the southpaw in 4.1 innings on April 16th, and in his most recent start, Seattle got to him for five runs on seven hits in just two innings. Bubic is probably not actually this bad, but the Yankees’ hitters would be remiss if they didn’t continue the trend.

Aaron Hicks is in the lineup and back from the paternity list with reliever Ron Marinaccio farmed out (Miguel Andújar is seemingly still with the team, so they’ll have a five-man bench). Tim Locastro will also start, and both Joey Gallo and Josh Donaldson will take a seat. Of minor interest is Aaron Judge DHing for a change with Giancarlo Stanton in right field. The rest of the lineup is fairly straightforward, and Kyle Higashioka will catch tonight.

There is a chance that rain could interfere with the game tonight, as some is in the forecast. We’ll keep you posted on any delays or postponements.

Remember, this game is only on Apple TV+, so I’ll quote what I wrote earlier about this:

As a programming reminder, today’s game is exclusively on Apple TV+. That’s a little annoying, but on the plus side, you don’t need a paid Apple TV+ subscription to watch it (for the time being, anyway). Just register and you should be able to catch the action, even if you’re in the blackout region, since that does not apply for these Apple games.

Go Yankees, go baseball.

How to watch:

Location: Kauffman Stadium — Kansas City, MO

First pitch: 8:05 pm EDT

Online stream: Apple TV+ (free with basic sign-up)

Radio Broadcast: 660 AM/101.9 FM WFAN, 1280 AMWADO, WXYT FM (DET)

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