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New York Yankees vs. Cincinnati Reds: Nestor Cortes vs. Luis Castillo

It’s a battle of All-Stars in tonight’s rubber match.

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Yankees have had a wild couple of games against the Reds so far. The NL Central basement dwellers have given the team with the best record in baseball quite a fight on their own turf, stealing away the opening game and jumping out to an early lead in the second one. The Yankees were fortunate to come back, as they have so many times this year, to tie the series, but now they face a tough task to secure the series win.

Nestor Cortes gets the start, looking to bounce back from an ugly outing against Boston. The Yankees provided huge run support for Cortes immediately, but Cortes gave the Sox life by only managing to go into the fourth inning while allowing four runs. The Yankees ultimately cruised through the rest of the game thanks to a massive offensive showcase, but it was no thanks to the pitcher who has been their ace of the staff through the first half — and that’s become a bit of a trend. Cortes’ season numbers (2.74 ERA and 1.7 fWAR) are still solid, but his 3.62 FIP suggests that he’s been getting a bit lucky and that luck has started to turn on him over the past month.

Cortes will need to be on his game, because on the other side the Reds are rolling out NL All-Star Luis Castillo. The Yankees have been connected to Castillo for a number of years at this point and continue to be interested in the 29-year-old righty, and now they’ll get a live audition from him. Castillo’s season has been excellent, pitching to a 2.92 ERA and a 3.04 FIP, and he’s been electric in his last three starts — he’s allowed just two runs in 20 innings of work. The Yankee lineup will have their hands full tonight.

Before the game, Aaron Boone also mentioned that he expects Jonathan Loáisiga to be active tonight. We’ll see if he gets into the action right away, and what form he’s in after a lengthy stay on the Injured List.

How to watch

Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY

First pitch: 7:05 pm EDT

TV Broadcast: YES, Bally Sports Ohio

Radio Broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280

Online stream:

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