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New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox: Michael King vs. Tanner Houck

It’s throwback baseball in Boston as the Yankees and Red Sox contest the four-game series over a pair of doubleheaders.

Milwaukee Brewers v New York Yankees Photo by New York Yankees/Getty Images

The weather gods in Boston appear to be in a particularly uncooperative mood, with the first and third of this four-game series getting rained out and rescheduled as twin bills the following days. The Yankees picked up their first doubleheader sweep at Fenway since 2006 and will look to match that today — on the same day that the Red Sox canned chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom.

The end-of-year experiment to stretch Michael King out as a starter could scarcely have started out better, with the 28-year-old righty pitching to a 1.93 ERA with 24 strikeouts against just three walks in his five starts totaling 18.2 innings. He’s looked particularly sharp across his last three when he’s been allowed to shoulder closer to a normal starter’s workload, allowing two earned runs across 14 innings. With the likes of Luis Severino and Frankie Montas slated to hit free agency after the season, it be be a huge boon to the Yankees if King can carve out a role for himself in the rotation. In 45 overall appearances, King has a 2.82 ERA (155 ERA+), 3.07 FIP, and 100 strikeouts in 83 innings. Per pitching coach Matt Blake, look for him to throw 85-90 pitches today.

Tanner Houck is also being given a chance by his team to prove himself again as a starter. It’s been a work in progress as he’s failed to replicate his early success as a starter in 2021, pitching with diminished strikeouts and a home run rate almost two-and-a-half times higher than it was two years ago. That said, the Yankees always seem to struggle against the 27-year-old righty, as he’s limited them to a .189 batting average with a 2.39 ERA in 11 appearances totaling 37.2 innings. Houck sports a sweeping slider that is hell on righties yet struggles mightily to retire lefties which unfortunately makes him the perfect type of pitcher to face the Yankees lineup. In 17 starts, Houck is 4-9 with a 5.28 ERA (87 ERA+), 4.46 FIP, and 80 strikeouts in 87 innings.

The Yankees go with one of their youngest lineups of this youth movement period, though sadly still without Jasson Domínguez, who is now set to undergo Tommy John surgery on Wednesday. Estevan Florial leads off, Austin Wells bats cleanup followed by his chicken parm dinner partaker Anthony Volpe batting fifth. Oswald Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera, and Everson Pereira round out bottom of this baby-faced batting order.

In fact, both teams are giving their youngsters a chance, with the Red Sox playing three rookies in their lineup. Ceddanne Rafaela introduced himself to the rivalry with a leadoff home run off Carlos Rodón — he has a 152 wRC+ in 13 games and bats leadoff again. Triston Casas has been one of the hottest hitters of the second half with a 177 wRC+ so it’s no surprise to see him batting cleanup. Wilyer Abreu also bats lefty and finds himself fifth in the lineup, with a 140 wRC+ since his August 22nd call-up.

How to watch

Location: Fenway Park — Boston, MA

First pitch: 1:35 pm ET

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 / (out of market only)

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