The Yankees may have taken the series over the Mariners, but a lackluster display in the final game soured what could’ve been a much-needed pick-me-up for the team. There’s no time to lick their wounds, as the first-place Rangers roll into town to kick off a three-game set.
New York faces a stern test against the team that took three of four during the Bombers’ visit to Arlington, getting outscored 24-8 in the process. It’s as complete a Rangers outfit as they’ve fielded in the last decade, leading MLB by scoring over six runs per game — a half-run more than the second-place Rays — while also boasting the fifth-stingiest pitching staff, who yields a smidge over four runs per game.
Clarke Schmidt has certainly improved over his last six starts (2.56 ERA, 25:8 strikeout to walk ratio in 31.2 innings) relative to an abysmal first month-and-a-half (6.30 ERA, 48:14 strikeout to walk ratio in 40 innings). That being said, he still needs to do a better job of putting away batters after pushing the count to two strikes — all those extra hits and free passes yielded from situations that should favor the pitcher have lead to Schmidt fielding the 10th-worst WHIP (1.423) among all pitchers with at least 70 innings pitched. In 15 starts, Schmidt is 2-6 with a 4.65 ERA (90 ERA+), 4.28 FIP, and 73 strikeouts in 71.2 innings.
Dane Dunning has a track record of success against the Yankees to start his big league career, holding the Bombers to five runs across four appearances totaling 18 innings (2.50 ERA), striking out 15 while walking five. He’s taken a big step in his development this year, though is one of the luckiest pitchers at keeping the ball in the park pitching in the spacious confines of Globe Life Field. He also doesn’t have a ton of swing and miss in his game, sitting in the bottom ten percent of the league in strikeouts and whiff rates, so combining these two facts I expect the Yankees to be aggressive in trying to lift the ball. In 16 appearances (eight starts), Dunning is 6-1 with a 2.78 ERA (153 ERA+), 3.94 FIP, and 39 strikeouts in 64.2 innings.
The Yankees make three changes to the lineup that mustered just two garbage time runs against the Mariners last night. Jake Bauers comes in to play right and bat leadoff, shifting Giancarlo Stanton to DH, Gleyber Torres to second, DJ LeMahieu to third, and Josh Donaldson to the bench. Isiah Kiner-Falefa replaces Harrison Bader in center and Jose Trevino takes over catching duties from Kyle Higashioka.
Contrary to the Yankees, the Rangers have above-average producers at practically every spot in the lineup. Robbie Grossman’s got the worst wRC+ at 90, but after him the next-lowest is Marcus Semien at 119. They tattooed Schmidt for five runs on ten hits in five innings when last they met, so this could be a long night for the Yankees’ starter.
How to watch
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 7:05 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES – NYY / Bally Sports Southwest - TEX
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv