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New York Yankees @ Miami Marlins: Michael King vs. Sandy Alcantara

The Yankees are going with another opener-bulk combo.

Michael King against the White Sox on August 8th.
Michael King against the White Sox on August 8th.
Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The Yankees started off their road trip with a series loss to the lowly White Sox, plummeting their FanGraphs playoff odds into the single digits for the first time this season. Even with their chances at October looking increasingly dire, who wouldn’t want to travel to sunny Miami for a reset against a Marlins team that had gone 7-17 in the second half?

That record moved to 7-18 after the Yankees notched a 9-4 victory using an Ian Hamilton-Randy Vázquez opener-bulk combo, with the bats pulling off an upset against the typically-sharp Jesús Luzardo. The Bombers will look to replicate that result this afternoon, with Michael King opening for Jhony Brito against defending NL Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara.

After an uncharacteristically poor start to the season, Alcantara has righted the ship of late. His last start was a clunker against a scorching Texas offense, but in his two starts prior he’d tossed a combined 17 innings of one-run ball — allowing just nine hits and two walks against 12 strikeouts — vs. the Phillies and Rays. He’ll look to keep rolling against a Yankees offense that, despite the nine-run outburst last night, has been merely middle-of-the-pack in terms of second-half production, ranking 15th with a 102 wRC+.

Opposite Alcantara, this will be King’s first nod in over two years, back when the Yankees were still regularly trying him as a starter. The team is considering stretching him out again, but he’s maxed out at 3.1 innings this year and won’t throw much more than 40 pitches, so Jhony Brito (on the roster in place of the injured Nestor Cortes, who was originally planned for tonight) will likely get ample run in the middle innings to strut his stuff. Specifically, the Yankees will get another look at how his new breaking ball fares against same-handed major leaguers:

Brito and King will face a Marlins’ lineup that has cost them in the second half, with their 87 wRC+ ranking sixth-worst in the majors. Yet, this iteration of their lineup might just be their best: oft-injured but key contributor Jazz Chisholm Jr. is healthy and leading off, deadline acquisition Josh Bell is hitting second, and batting-average leader Luis Arraez slots into the three-hole. Bell has been especially impressive since being traded, going 11-35 with four homers — including three in the last two days — as a Marlin.

Thanks to their scoring barrage last night, the Yankees will largely run it back with their lineup with a couple of notable changes since they’re facing a right-hander instead of a lefty. Jake Bauers, a left-handed hitter, will lead off, pushing Isiah Kiner-Falefa down to the sixth spot. Billy McKinney, another lefty, will return to his spot in left field with Oswaldo Cabrera taking a seat. McKinney will hit fifth, with Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, and Giancarlo Stanton resuming their two, three, and four spots, respectively.

How to watch

Location: loanDepot Park — Miami, FL

First pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET

TV broadcast: YES Network, Bally Sports Florida, MLB Network

Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280

Online stream:

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