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New York Yankees vs. Cincinnati Reds: Gerrit Cole vs. Graham Ashcraft

Yes, it’s another team that wears red, but fortunately for Cole, this one doesn’t have Rafael Devers at third base.

Houston Astros v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

After a day off on Monday, the Yankees return to the Bronx tonight to begin a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds. While this ought to be a favorable series for the Bronx Bombers since the Reds find themselves in the basement of one of baseball’s worst divisions, this is not a series that the Yankees can overlook. After starting the season a horrid 3-22, Cincy has posted a very respectable 29-22 record since May 5th, and they’re currently riding a four-game winning streak that includes a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Yankees ace and 2022 All-Star Gerrit Cole (8-3, 3.26 ERA, 3.61 FIP) gets the ball in the opener. Looking purely at his end-of-game stat line, his most recent outing wasn’t very good, as he allowed five runs in six innings, striking out seven and walking three. All five runs, however, came via a pair of home runs by Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers, who has owned Cole this season. In fact, if you remove the seven runs that Devers has driven against the right-hander (all on home runs), his season ERA is a robust 2.63. Thankfully, he will not be in the lineup for the Cincinnati Reds tonight.

Going up against him will be rookie right-hander Graham Ashcraft (4-2, 4.35 ERA, 4.03 FIP), making his 10th career start. How this game goes for the Yankees depends largely on which version of Ashcraft shows up tonight. In four outings, he went at least six innings and gave up two runs or fewer; in two, he worked into the fifth inning and allowed four-to-six runs; and on June 30th, he got blown up for seven runs in 2.1 innings by the Chicago Cubs. If there’s any consistency in Ashcraft’s performance, he does regularly give up a lot of contact, as he worked around 10 hits in his last start to limit the Mets to just two runs.

Aaron Judge gets the day off today, as the Yankees seek to take advantage of their 14.5-game lead in the division to keep their most important player healthy. Joining him in the bench rotation is Matt Carpenter, who has started every game since July 3rd. Anthony Rizzo gets the half-day, serving as the designated hitter, which means DJ LeMahieu is starting at first tonight. Aaron Hicks returns to his Opening Day spot in center field, with Joey Gallo and Giancarlo Stanton manning the corners.

The weather is iffy thought, and the Yankees have already said that they will not start as planned at 7:05pm ET. Stay tuned to this space for updates!

How to watch

Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY

First pitch: 7:05 pm EDT

TV Broadcast: YES, Bally Sports

Radio Broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280

Online stream:

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