The Yankees enter play on Monday with the best record in baseball at 53-20. The A’s have the worst record in baseball at 25-49. The series is taking place at Yankee Stadium. If ever there was a time to expect a Yankees sweep, it’s now; let’s just hope that there’s no hangover effect after the chaotic four-game series split against the Astros.
Lefty Jordan Montgomery gets the ball for the Yankees in the opener. He’s put together a quietly terrific first half that might garner more All-Star consideration if he was on another team, where it would stand out more. He’s posted a 2.97 ERA and 1.017 WHIP while walking a superb 13 batters in 78.2 innings. Montgomery also sits in the 89th percentile in chase rate and the 77th in hard-hit rate. He’s been a tough customer for most of the year, though the Rays did get to him for nine hits, two walks, and four runs last Wednesday.
Opposing Monty will be the man who is either the A’s best or second-best player, depending on which statistics you prefer. FanGraphs leans toward Frankie Montas, but Baseball Reference prefers today’s starter, Paul Blackburn. One of them will surely be the A’s solitary All-Star.
Either way, the Yankees will face Blackburn tonight, and he has a 2.97 ERA and 3.39 FIP with just five homers allowed in 75.2 innings. The 28-year-old right-hander throws several different pitches, with his curve likely being the best in his repertoire. He’s been putting in some good outings this year, though the Mariners crushed him on June 22nd with 10 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks in just 4 innings. More of that, please.
Gleyber Torres and Isiah Kiner-Falefa are both nursing minor injuries, so they’re both out of the lineup tonight. Giancarlo Stanton will DH and the standard non-Torres infield will cover those positions, with Marwin Gonzalez subbing for IKF at shortstop. Jose Trevino catches Montgomery tonight.
How to watch
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 7:05 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES, NBC Sports California, MLB Network (out of market only)
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1380
Online stream: MLB.tv