Coming off of an offday and an emotionally exhausting two-game set against the cross-town Mets, the Yankees will now take on another big rival. They’ll be facing the Red Sox for the second time in their last three series, this time up in New England for the first time in 2023. If you’re tired of them already, they won’t square off again until August 18th in the Bronx.
Boston took two of three in their series last week, and the back portion of the Yankee rotation will look to lead them to redemption in their second go-around. The Sox still sit in the AL East cellar at 34-35, and are on the heels of a series loss at home to the Rockies. As they demonstrated in the Bronx though, they are more than capable of going toe-to-toe with New York, especially with Aaron Judge still on the IL.
Friday: Domingo Germán vs. Tanner Houck (7:10 pm ET)
Germán will get the ball in the series opener, and will do so with the fairly hot hand. On the whole, the righty has done a solid job this season, and he’s coming off two of his better starts of 2023. The more recent of which was against these very same Sox, where he went six innings, allowing just one run and striking out five. He has what would be a career-best 3.49 ERA and a respectable 4.38 FIP over 67 innings of work.
Tanner Houck had a nice year out of the ‘pen in Boston last year, and earned a rotation spot for 2023. It hasn’t quite clicked, however, as he owns an ERA above five in his 63.2 innings of work. He also started against Germán his last time out, where he pitched six innings and struck out as many Yankees, giving up a just a pair of solo homers—one to Gleyber Torres and the other to Willie Calhoun. In his two starts before that, Houck gave up eight earned runs in nine total innings.
Saturday: Clarke Schmidt vs. Brayan Bello (7:15 pm ET)
As Andrés detailed yesterday, Clarke Schmidt has had been on a very nice run of late. Over his last five starts, he has a 2.33 ERA over 27 innings, and has K’d 22 opposing batters. He also hasn’t walked a batter since May. During the 27-year-old’s last start, Sunday night against Boston, he worked 5.1 innings and allowed just one run. He’ll look to continue tis resurgent stretch against the Sox once again.
Bello was Boston’s No. 4 prospect on FanGraphs last season, and had an impressive 2.94 FIP in his first 57.1 big league innings in 2022. This year, in a similar sample thus far, the right-hander has a lowered 3.78 ERA, but hasn’t been as impressive under the hood (4.23 FIP, 1.2 HR/9, 46 percent hard-hit rate). To his credit, he has lowered his walk rate by 2.7 percentage points, and has ticked up his K rate in 2023. Last Sunday against the Yanks, Bello worked seven innings of two-run ball, allowing just three hits in quite an effective effort.
Sunday: Luis Severino vs. James Paxton (7:15 pm ET)
Severino’s late start in 2023 hasn’t gone exactly as planned, particularly in last few starts. In his last three outings, the righty has given up 16 earned runs in 13.2 innings against the Dodgers, White Sox, and Mets. All told, he has a 6.48 ERA and even worse 7.12 FIP on the year. Most concerning however, has been the contact Severino has been giving up. In each of his last three starts, he’s surrendered an average exit velocity of 94 mph or higher to opposing batters.
James Paxton has been a revelation for the Red Sox recently, after pitching just 1.1 innings from September 2020 through April 2023 due to Tommy John surgery and other maladies. He had a rough start against the Orioles near the end of May, but since then, has thrown 18 innings over three starts, allowing just three runs and striking out 25 guys. The veteran southpaw is striking batters out like he did in his prime, and it’s frankly great to see after such a tough stretch for the former Yankee. The Yanks, however, will look to put a damper on the great story for their old friend.