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New York Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners: Gerrit Cole vs. Luis Castillo

A weekday matinee will decide the winner in the first of two series against the Mariners.

Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball is a funny and cruel game in a very poetic way. As the trade deadline approached, it was well-documented that the Yankees were searching for the solution to three problems: Joey Gallo, his replacement, and pitching. And while Brian Cashman figured out the first two, this rubber match game between the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners is fascinating for the latter reason.

The Yankees got their guy in Frankie Montas, but the pitching gem on the trade market was Luis Castillo, who the Mariners gave up a fairly sizeable package to acquire. The 29-year-old right-hander holds a record of 4-4 while pitching to the tune of a 2.86 ERA (159 ERA+), 1.07 WHIP, and 3.38 xFIP with 90 strikeouts in 85.0 innings pitched, and his new club certainly hopes he can add to his already impressive 2.1 fWAR as the season moves along as well. This series-deciding game will be his first as a Mariner, and if it’s anything like we saw the last time he pitched in The Bronx, it could end poorly for the home squad.

The good news is that the Yankees have Gerrit Cole on the mound, the pitcher who gives them the best chance to win. Despite a somewhat uncharacteristic 3.30 ERA (116 ERA+) on the season for the ace, he holds a 9-3 record, a 1.03 WHIP, and 2.72 xFIP to go along with 162 strikeouts, the second-highest total in MLB only behind Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Corbin Burnes (166). Cole’s xFIP and skill interactive earned run average (SIERA) rank second and third in the major leagues. So, despite the third worst HR/9 in his career, with one of the two worse performances coming during the pandemic-shortened season, his overall production has been outstanding.

The two 2022 All-Star pitchers should put on a show if everything goes well, but if it doesn’t, these are two offenses that have put up plenty of runs throughout this series. The Yankees currently lead that race 13-10, scoring seven in the first game and six in the second, with Seattle getting the majority of their offensive output in the most recent showing with eight runs total.

Don’t be surprised if the Yankees come out with more pep in their step. Their loss in the second game of this three-game series felt inevitable despite some valiant comeback efforts, and the pitcher they’re facing is trying to prove himself. The first outing with a new team as a starter is usually the hardest, and if the New York lineup can make Castillo uncomfortable, it makes their jobs much easier.

As for lineup moves, the Yankees’ biggest move is taking Aaron Judge out of the lineup for a day off. No player is in the same spot in the order from last night outside of Isiah Kiner-Falefa. DJ LeMahieu moves to third base with Gleyber Torres back in the lineup after a day off and Josh Donaldson moving into the DH spot. Hicks moves up despite an 0-for-4 night at the plate and sitting on a horrid 0-for-24 slump, and because it’s a day game after a night game, Kyle Higashioka slots in for Jose Trevino, who was having a whale of a series.

The Mariners are keeping it a little more simple, with the top of the order looking relatively the same as the previous game. The only difference is that Adam Frazier slots in as the man at second base replacing Abraham Toro. He will hit leadoff. After the DH Kyle Lewis is where they look most different. Jarred Kelenic moves up a slot with Luis Torrens replacing switch-hitter Cal Raleigh at catcher. Sam Haggerty, who knocked a pinch-hit home run into the seats to give the Mariners a late-inning lead that they never looked back on, moves to right field and bats ninth in the order.

How to watch

Location: Yankee Stadium - Bronx, NY

First pitch: 1:05 pm ET

TV Broadcast: YES Network, Root Sports Northwest

Radio Broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280 (NYY), KIRO 710 (SEA)

Online Stream: MLB.tv

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