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New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals: Gerrit Cole vs. Brady Singer

After snapping the losing streak last night, the Yankees are gunning for a much-needed series victory.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

A couple of big swings gave the Yankees just enough to win the series opener — namely home runs for Franchy Cordero and the scorching Billy McKinney. The W is the important part, but a tense five-hit, one-run victory against this Royals team didn’t assuage many concerns about the next 64 games. Giancarlo Stanton squared a couple of fly balls up to the warning track, but no dice. Anthony Rizzo also went hitless and still hasn’t homered in since mid-May.

The Orioles have capitalized on the Rays’ skid and they now share first place. The Yankees let this golden opportunity slip away and the division deficit remains steady at 8.5 games. The likelihood of leapfrogging four other quality teams is slim at best. In the Wild Card, things don’t look much rosier: the Yankees have easily the worst run differential out of all AL teams currently in or within five games of a Wild Card spot, clinging to a +9 mark. They remain three games out of the third spot, in fifth place with the Red Sox a half-game up in fourth place and Shohei Ohtani’s Angels a mere game behind after the recent sweep.

Royals starter Brady Singer is coming off the longest outing of his career in which he logged eight innings with four earned runs. Singer’s year and really his career so far tell the same story: talented but inconsistent. Gerrit Cole, on the other hand, takes the mound as one of the frontrunners for the AL Cy Young Award. The Yankees’ ace has a 2.78 ERA with over a strikeout per inning in 20 starts, and though fWAR and WARP don’t like him as much, he paces the Junior Circuit in rWAR (the Baseball Reference version) with 4.0, a modest half-win ahead of the Rangers’ Nathan Eovaldi.

Unlikely slugger Michael Massey hits cleanup for Kansas City after his two-homer night on Friday. The Yankees also stick with their hot hand — Franchy Cordero is back in the fifth spot after going deep in each of the last two contests. Ben Rortvedt gets the start against the righty Singer; with Jose Trevino out for 2023, we’ll see a lot more of the former Twins catcher. Billy McKinney hits leadoff as his surprisingly year continues.

Should the Yankees win today, they’ll ensure a series victory for the first time in a month. It’s low-hanging fruit against a team on pace to lose over 115 games like Kansas City, but given New York’s recent series losses to the Cubs, Rockies, and Angels, nothing can be taken for granted. Get the job done and get the win behind Cole.

How to watch

Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, New York

First pitch: 1:05 pm ET

TV broadcast: YES Network – NYY / Bally Sports KC - KC

Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280

Online stream:

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