After yesterday’s low-scoring doubleheader sweep, the Yankees are poised to at least draw even in a series with the Red Sox for the first time this season. Better yet, with a win today, they could even clinch a series win against their longtime rivals. The Yankees trounced Boston 13-6 in their season series last year, so their improvement after yesterday to just 3-8 thus far isn’t much, but ending on a high note could be important for a September roster peppered with Yankee Youths who will likely play an integral role in 2024.
That group includes tonight’s starter, Clarke Schmidt, who seems likely to be penciled into a mid-rotation role in 2024. Aside from ace Gerrit Cole, Schmidt has been the only other consistent arm in the Yankees’ starting staff this season.
At the same time, the 27-year-old right-hander’s previous career-high in innings came last year with 90.2 frames and he’s already at 140.2 this season. That’s likely why the Yankees opted to give him a pair of extra rest days after his scheduled start Monday was rained out. Still, Schmidt has continued to look sharp lately, getting outs into the seventh inning in two of his last three starts after failing to do so in his first 29 career nods.
Tanner Houck will line up against Schmidt for the Red Sox. Like Schmidt, Houck is a 27-year-old right-hander who has struggled to get lefties out; both pitchers sport a nearly 100-point better wOBA-allowed against same-handed hitters. Houck has an especially excellent slider, which has racked up a run value of eight this season, but nearly all of that has come against righties: they whiff 2.4 percentage points more often against the pitch, and when they manage to put it in play, their wOBA is just over half that of their opposite-handed counterparts. Houck is making his fifth start since a Kyle Higashioka line drive to the face cost him two months on the IL.
But Higgy won’t have a chance to hit against him tonight, as Austin Wells gets the nod behind the plate. Wells, who’s managed to reach base just five times in 29 major-league plate appearances, will have an opportunity to tee off on the weak-against-lefties Houck. He’ll bat fifth. Estevan Florial, another lefty who recently got the call, will look to do the same; he’ll lead off and man center field. Elsewhere, veterans Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, and Giancarlo Stanton assume their usual 2-4 spots in the lineup as well as their typical right field, second base, and DH positions.
The Red Sox have several rookies of their own in the lineup tonight, most prominent among them Triston Casas. After a slow start to the season, the first baseman has been one of the best hitters in the majors since June, tallying a 156 wRC+ in 322 plate appearances. He’s hitting fourth, and he’ll be followed by another lefty, the more recent call-up and left fielder Wilyer Abreu. Ceddanne Rafaela, another top prospect but one better known for his defense, will hit eighth and man center field.
Red Sox announcement: The start of tonight's game will be delayed due to weather in the area. Updates will be provided when available.— Bryan Hoch ⚾️ (@BryanHoch) September 13, 2023
Note that this game will start in a rain delay.
How to watch
Location: Fenway Park — Boston, MA
7:10 pm ET TBD
TV broadcast: Amazon Prime Video — NYY/NESN — BOS/MLBN — out of market
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280 / WEEI 93.7
Online stream: Amazon Prime Video / MLB.tv (out of market only)