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New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies: Gerrit Cole vs. Aaron Nola

An early-season ace-off for the rubber match between two East division juggernauts

MLB: San Francisco Giants at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Whoever emerges as the winner of this three-game set between the Yankees and Phillies will probably have deserved it. That’s because they’ll need to beat the other’s ace in order to do so.

New York and Philadelphia will be coming at their second starts of the year from opposite directions. Gerrit Cole was brilliant on Opening Day last week, recording 10 of the first 12 outs by strikes and finishing with 11 punchouts over six shutout, two-hit innings. Aaron Nola, on the other hand, didn’t manage to make it through the fourth inning of his season opener, getting hit hard by a revamped Rangers lineup to the tune of five runs (all earned) in 3.2 innings.

Cole has started once in the Bronx against the Phils, allowing one run over six innings (albeit with a season-low four punchies) in front of a completely empty stadium in August 2020. Nola, for his part, has pitched brilliantly against the Yankees in recent years, allowing just 5 runs in 19 innings spread over three starts since 2020, with an outstanding 26-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio in that span.

The Yankees’ lineup is flipping over a little bit after yesterday's 4-1 defeat, but not excessively so. Early-season acquisition Franchy Cordero makes his second start in right field after driving in two with an RBI double to start his Bronx tenure on Monday, and Jose Trevino once again dons the tools of ignorance after ceding the spot to Kyle Higashioka yesterday. Aaron Judge slides over to center field, sending yesterday’s outfield combo of Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Aaron Hicks to the bench in favor of Oswaldo Cabrera, who has yet to draw a walk or record an extra-base hit but joins Judge, Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton, and the Anthonys Rizzo and Volpe in appearing in the first five games of the 2023 campaign.

Some parts of the Phillies lineup have been shuffled around, but it’s still the same group they trotted out yesterday afternoon, save for J.T. Realmuto’s return to the lineup after a breather. That pushes the inexperienced Alec Bohm from the three- down into the six-spot against the Cole Train, once again leaving a slow-starting Darick Hall at first base and in the four-spot in lieu of Rhys Hoskins. The Phillies lineup hasn’t been gangbusters to this point, but their 1-4 record is a result more borne of pitching dysfunction than offensive incompetence: Don’t underestimate the defending National League champions.

Let’s take the rubber match! See you all on YES in a few hours. For those of you tuning in from outside the New York City metro area, this will be shown as MLB.TV’s Free Game of the Day, available for anybody to check out at no cost with an MLB account.

How to watch

Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY

First pitch: 1:05 pm ET

TV broadcast: NYY - YES, PHI - NBC Sports Philly

Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280 / 94 WIP, WTTM 1680

Online stream:

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