Two teams projected for similar success in 2018 have started the season on two different paths. The Red Sox are 8-1 after nine games, benefitting from an easy schedule against the Rays and Marlins. The Yankees, meanwhile are just 5-5 in their first 10 contests after an embarrassing series against the Orioles. Both teams are likely to normalize before long, but will the Yankees turn it on in order to turn Boston off?
As much as the Yankees have been hit by the injury bug, the Red Sox have not been immune either. Xander Bogaerts suffered a broken ankle on Sunday and Dustin Pedroia will be out until May. That being said, the Red Sox have far more going for them than the Yankees do.
Yankees-Red Sox hasn’t been what it used to be in ages, but the stakes have risen in recent years. Perhaps this is the year for the rivalry to be reborn. The Yankees will have to play out of their minds, though.
Game 1: Luis Severino vs. Chris Sale
The first game of this series promises to be what MLB Network tried on many occasions to call an “Ace-Off.” All jokes aside, these are two of the best pitchers in baseball right now. Severino has been exactly what the Yankees needed to begin the year, and Sale is once again proving to be an unstoppable force for Boston. This is going to be a big matchup for the first game in Boston
Game 2: Masahiro Tanaka vs. David Price
David Price has been hurt and ineffective over the last few seasons, but he’s started 2018 on the right foot. So far he hasn’t allowed a run in two seven-innings starts, so the Yankees’ injured lineup will have their work cut out for them. If there’s anyone to put up against Price, though, it’s Tanaka, who has looked like his old self in the early goings.
Game 3: TBD vs. Rick Porcello
The third game of the series will be a little bit of a challenge with CC Sabathia on the disabled list. The Yankees will throw out either Luis Cessa or Domingo German on Thursday night. Whoever it ends up being, the offense is going to need to show up. If there’s anyone this team can beat up, it will be Porcello, though he’s no pushover either.
Overall, the Yankees will need the offense to be healthier than it has been to this point. Giancarlo Stanton has to get out of his funk, otherwise Fenway will eat him alive. Gary Sanchez has dominated at Fenway Park so far, so that will help a lot if he can get going.