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New York Yankees @ Miami Marlins: Gerrit Cole vs. Eury Pérez

The Yankees try for a desperately needed series victory with their ace on the mound.

New York Yankees v Chicago White Sox Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

After taking the series opener in Miami on Friday, yesterday the Yankees found themselves facing the Sandy Alcantara who won the 2022 NL Cy Young, rather than the Marlins’ bland imitation who has taken the mound throughout 2023. As a result, the series is split heading into today’s finale.

New York has the right man on the mound for this one, with Gerrit Cole taking the ball. Today marks his 25th start of the season, and if the campaign ended tomorrow, the Yankee ace might well finally take home his first Cy Young Award. In a season that is getting late really early, Cole’s pursuit of the hardware that’s eluded him looks like it could be one of the most compelling Yankee storylines down the stretch. Cole enters this one 10-3, with a sterling 2.75 ERA and 4.7 bWAR.

On the other side, Eury Pérez faces the Yankees. The 20-year-old righthander makes his 13th career start today and so far for the Marlins, the returns have been good. He boasts a 2.79 ERA through his first 12 outings and is striking out well over a batter per inning (68 K in 58 IP). Pérez features a fastball with an average velocity of 98 mph and that sits in the 100th percentile in fastball spin rate. Despite the spin and the velocity, however, it has been hit hard this season. Opposing batters have knocked his heater around to the tune of a .313 AB and .657 SLG, with 19 of the 31 base hits off the pitch for extra bases.

Can the Yankees hit that heater? That is the question. They’re sending out what passes for the A lineup these days. Jake Bauers leads off with Aaron Judge, playing right field today, protecting him. Behind them looms Gleyber Torres, who has put together a .339/.376/.521 slash line over his last 30 games. Speaking of storylines down the stretch, Anthony Volpe hits eighth today and, after his initial post-chicken parm surge after a prolonged drought, his bat has come back to earth. His last 30 games have produced a .170/.282/.298 line. It is absolutely imperative that he show signs of adjustment and progression down the stretch; the homer on Friday helped but he needs more.

The playoffs are looking more and more like a distant dream but all the Yankees can do is tally up W’s and hope. Win today and take the series. That’d be a nice step.

How to watch

Location: loanDepot Park – Miami, FL

First pitch: 1:40 pm ET

TV broadcast: YES, Bally Sports Florida, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280 / Fox Sports 940 AM (WINZ), WAQI 710

Online stream:

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