I’d say the kids are alright. Jasson Domínguez and Austin Wells embraced the moment in their MLB debuts last night against the Astros, The Martian homering on his first big-league swing off future first ballot Hall of Famer Justin Verlander while the rookie backstop singled in his first AB and called a solid game behind the plate. I wonder what they and the other rookies in the lineup will get up to tonight.
Luis Severino tossed by far his best start of the season last time out against the Tigers, holding them scoreless for seven innings allowing five hits and no walks with eight strikeouts. He racked up double-digit whiffs on the fastball and his slider had particularly sharp bite. In truth, Sevy has looked much more settled of late, having not given up a run in either of his previous two starts (something he hadn’t done since 2019) and with a 1.53 ERA across his last three totaling 17.2 innings. In 16 starts, Severino is 4-8 with a 6.64 ERA (65 ERA+), 6.04 FIP, and 71 strikeouts in 81.1 innings.
Hunter Brown got off to a flying start, with a 3.35 ERA in his first 13 starts before the road got bumpy in the summer months. All the same, the rookie righty looks to established himself as a mainstay of the Astros rotation for the years to come. Much like teammate Justin Verlander, Brown relies on a four-seamer, slider, curveball mix. His fastball averages 96 mph and his slider almost 92, but it’s the curveball the Yankees should be hunting. Even though his knuckle curve sits in the 90th percentile in vertical break vs. average, his propensity to leave it up in the zone makes it one of the ten worst curves in the league by run value. In 24 starts, Brown is 10-9 with a 4.47 ERA (96 ERA+), 3.86 FIP, and 152 strikeouts in 133 innings.
The Yankees lineup is even younger than it was yesterday, with Oswaldo Cabrera replacing Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Domínguez receives an instant promotion up to third in the order, slotting in right between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, both of whom homered last night as well. That said, the hottest hitter in the lineup might be the oldest, with DJ LeMahieu carrying a 148 wRC+ in the second half as he got things started with a leadoff homer off Verlander last night. Gleyber Torres is reportedly “doing better” after being a late scratch on Friday night with back tightness, but he’s being held out a second day in a row.
The Astros make three changes to last night’s lineup. Jose Altuve was forced to exit last night’s contest after fouling a ball off his shin and his sub Mauricio Dubón gets the start tonight at second. Otherwise, Chas McCormick and Michael Brantley replace Martín Maldonado and Jake Meyers in the starting nine.
How to watch
Location: Minute Maid Park — Houston, TX
First pitch: 7:10 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES — NYY / AT&T SportsNet Southwest — HOU
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv (out-of-market only)