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New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers: Series Preview

The Yanks continue their road trip as they had to Texas for a four-game set with the first place Rangers.

Oakland Athletics v Texas Rangers Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images

Wednesday afternoon’s resurgence for the Yankees was a reassuring sight as they wrapped up their series against the Twins with a big win. The entire lineup had been in a bit of a slump, so seeing the bombers put up a 12-spot is encouraging as they head for a four-game series against the Rangers and Jacob deGrom. With the big offensive output hopefully being a corner turned, the pitching staff looks to stay hot against another solid rotation in Texas.

Thursday: Gerrit Cole vs. Andrew Heaney (8:05 pm ET)

There is no denying Gerrit Cole’s sparkling start to the season. He will take the mound Thursday with a 0.79 ERA and 2.18 FIP, with his last start against the Blue Jays being his second consecutive scoreless outing. Before that, he twirled a masterpiece, with a 10-strikeout, complete game shutout against the Twins. The righty has allowed just three earned runs in 2023, and is ninth in the bigs in total strikeouts. He’ll look to continue his hot start against the Rangers.

Former Yankee Andrew Heaney has given Texas league average-ish production so far on the mound, pitching to a 4.34 ERA and 4.35 FIP (103 ERA+). Outside of an ugly Ranger debut in his first start of the year, the veteran lefty has pitched quite well. He bounced back with 10 K’s in half as many innings in his next start, and has given up just two runs in 16 innings since that forgettable start. He was solid in his partial season last year with the Dodgers as well, earning a 3.10 ERA in 72.2 innings of work, much better than his not-so-great stint with the 2021 Yanks.

Friday: Clarke Schmidt vs. Jacob deGrom (8:05 pm ET)

The 27-year-old right-hander Schmidt has had a rough start to the season thus far, with ERA and FIP numbers floating around six. He did, however, have a nice bounceback earlier this week against the Jays, hurling 5.2 innings and striking out eight. He gave up three runs, none of which were earned, while he shifted his pitch mix and leaned more on his sinker. He’ll look to build on this last start, against a Ranger team he faced for just two (albeit scoreless) innings last season.

Jacob deGrom appears to still be, uh, Jacob deGrom. He has a 1.41 FIP this year across five starts thus far, two of which saw him notch 11 strikeouts. Like his teammate, the flame-throwing righty had a forgettable start to his season, giving up five earned runs while failing to get out of the fourth inning. Since then, he has returned to form and been mostly lights-out. The two-time Cy Young Award winner hasn’t faced the Bombers since 2018.

Saturday: Jhony Brito vs. Nathan Eovaldi (7:05 pm ET)

After a blazing start to his career, rookie Jhony Brito has cooled down considerably. In his first two starts of the year, he pitched 10 innings combined, allowing just one run and striking out eight. Since then, of course, there was the nightmare start against the Twins (seven ER in 0.2 IP). In his most recent start, also against Minnesota, Brito gave up three earned runs in 2.2 innings, walking three Twins in the process. He’ll look to right his ship and return to the form he began his career in.

Hard-throwing Nathan Eovaldi has had an iffy, but likely misleading start to his 2023. We’re still in a part of the season where one bad start can skew a pitcher’s stats quite a bit, which is the case here. But, Eovaldi has also probably pitched better than his 5.20 ERA would indicate, as he’s avoided walks and the long ball quite well so far, evident in his very solid 2.21 FIP. He has also struck out 31 opposing batters in 27.2 innings.

Sunday: Nestor Cortes vs. Martín Pérez (2:35 pm ET)

In 28.1 innings thus far, Nestor Cortes has fared mostly well, pitching to a 3.49 ERA and 3.57 FIP in his five starts. He has the strikeout working of late, fanning at least six hitters in each of his last three starts. Cortes faced the Rangers early last season and tossed a gem, striking out 11 over 7.1 scoreless frames.

Nasty Nestor is scheduled to face Martín Pérez, who was a fairly reliable innings-eater for a decade before breaking out at age-31 last season. The lefty pitched nearly 200 innings with a sub-3 ERA last year and earned his first career All-Star nod. The veteran has continued his success this year, with a 170 ERA+, and is coming off a 6.1 inning outing without an earned run his last time out against the Reds.