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New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels (Game 1): Nestor Cortes vs. Shohei Ohtani

Nasty Nestor get his shot at the 2021 AL MVP.

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Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Yankees took the first contest of this mammoth three-game clash of the titans of the game before last night’s rainout. Aaron Judge robbed Shohei Ohtani of a first-inning home run while the Yankees’ pitching held Mike Trout hitless. They will need another complete team performance during today’s doubleheader if they are to replicate Tuesday’s 9-1 victory. The Yankees and Angels will play two today with New York planning a pretty potent one-two punch with Nestor Cortes in Game 1 and Jameson Taillon in Game 2.

Cortes gets the ball for his 10th start of the year, and will look to continue his trend of giving the Yankees good length. He is averaging just over seven innings per start across his last four and a tick under six innings on the year, continuing the broader pattern of Yankees starters going deeper into games while the bullpen deals with significant absences. He currently sports the second-best ERA (1.70), fifth-best FIP (2.56) and sixth-best K-BB% (24.3 percent) among qualified starters in MLB and with each successive stellar outing, he further solidifies his status as one of the top pitchers in the game.

Of course, the Angels have a pretty good pitcher of their own getting the ball. Reid Detmers was originally planned to face Cortes, but instead, the rookie will start tonight. Ohtani will slide up a game and pitch this afternoon (perhaps to limit the possibility that rain will affect his start). The 2021 AL MVP has been actually even better on the mound across eight starts this year than at bat. His ERA is merely solid at 3.45, but look beyond that — he has a 2.51 FIP, 1.038 WHIP, and 63 strikeouts in just 44.1 innings (29.8 percent K%). Ohtani has cut down on his walks too, and thus is one of those few starters with a better K-BB% (29.4 percent) than Nestor in 2022.

The Angels will run out a lineup that is exactly the same as the one that was silenced by Jordan Montgomery and company, but the Yankees have a slightly different look. DH Matt Carpenter gets the nod at leadoff as DJ LeMahieu slides to No. 5 in the order. Miguel Andújar will take a seat with both Joey Gallo and Aaron Hicks in the lineup, and Marwin Gonzalez covers shortstop for Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Jose Trevino will catch Cortes with Kyle Higashioka likely planned for Taillon in the nightcap. Estevan Florial is up with the team as the 27th man today, though he isn’t starting.

How to watch

Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY

First pitch: 1:05 pm ET

TV broadcast: YES, Bally Sports West, MLB Network (out-of-market only)

Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1380

Online stream: MLB.tv

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Update

We are in a rain delay in the ninth inning of a 6-1 game because of course we are. Hopefully, this wraps up soon.