The count is up to nine, count ‘em, nine straight series wins. The Yankees went out on the road and took three-of-four from both of their opponents, setting themselves up to potentially be the first team to 30 wins if they can continue their series win streak back in the confines of Yankee Stadium. First up on the docket is a familiar face — the White Sox come to town after losing one of those aforementioned series to the Yankees just a week ago. Chicago will be looking for revenge on the road, and here’s how the teams will likely line up their starting pitchers following the Friday rainout.
DraftKings series odds: Yankees win (-190); White Sox win (+150)
Saturday: Nestor Cortes vs. Dallas Keuchel, 1:05 p.m. EST
Nestor Cortes has been inarguably the best pitcher in the Yankees rotation up to this point, and that’s saying something when Gerrit Cole is back in form. Cortes has pitched to a 1.35 ERA and 2.44 FIP in 40 innings of work so far, striking out 49 batters compared to just 11 walks. Cortes faced the Sox in his last outing, dominating them for eight innings of one-run ball, and the only blemish in his start came in his final frame via an Adam Engel solo shot. That broke up a streak of 16 consecutive scoreless innings for Cortes dating back to the end of his May 4th start against the Blue Jays, and he’ll look to start anew against the team that broke it up.
Dallas Keuchel will be going for the White Sox, and outside of the shortened 2020 season he hasn’t really worked out well for the southsiders. This season he’s pitched to a 5.54 ERA and a 5.09 FIP across 26 innings this year — but his best start of the year was easily the one he pitched against the Yankees last week. Keuchel pitched five shutout innings, allowing just four hits and walking three while striking out three, and his efforts helped the Sox salvage their lone win of the series. Keuchel has been historically a thorn in the Yankees’ sides throughout his career, so even though he’s fallen on hard times its no surprise to see him still flummoxing the pinstripes.
Sunday: Luis Severino vs. Johnny Cueto, 3:05 p.m. EST
Luis Severino hasn’t had to be the No. 2 pitcher that he’s been billed as in the past this year. Instead, the young right-hander has slowly found his footing in his first full year back from a long stretch of injuries, and he turned in his best start of the season last time out against Baltimore. Severino went six innings and allowed just a single run and three baserunners, while striking out seven and evading a jam right out of the gates in the first inning. Severino’s season numbers have him at a 3.63 ERA and 3.90 FIP across 34.2 innings with 38 strikeouts against 11 walks.
Johnny Cueto didn’t have a team by the time spring training rolled around, but the White Sox wound up giving him a minor-league deal in April. Cueto built up his arm with four starts down in the minors before getting called up to join Chicago on May 16th for a start against Kansas City. Cueto turned back the clocks for that start, tossing six shutout innings and striking out seven in a game that the White Sox eventually won. Cueto will look to prove it wasn’t a fluke against a more dynamic lineup in New York.
Sunday: Jameson Taillon vs. Michael Kopech, ~7:08 p.m. EST
Jameson Taillon has been pretty dependable for at least five innings of work, and that’s exactly what he gave the Yankees in his last outing. He gave up three runs in his five innings against Baltimore, though he got hurt a bit by his defense, and enters this start at a 3.28 ERA and a 3.55 FIP across 35.2 innings. Taillon’s control has been excellent to this point, as evidenced by him handing out only four walks all year.
Chicago’s rotation is entering this series with some question marks thanks to a recent doubleheader, but Lucas Giolito’s return allowed them to give several starters a crucial extra day of rest.
This would be Dylan Cease’s turn in the rotation normally, so we’ll briefly spotlight him here — Cease has been fairly dominant so far, pitching to a 3.09 ERA and a sparkling 2.16 FIP in 43.2 innings. Cease’s most recent start was a strong one, going 5.2 scoreless, but the start prior to that the Yankees rocked him for six runs in four innings of work.
Friday night update: Michael Kopech is now listed as Chicago’s Sunday starter for the doubleheader nightcap. He was pretty good against the Yankees last time out with the very notable exception of one awful inning.