The Red Sox and Yankees will renew their historic rivalry on Friday when the two teams meet for the first time in 2021.
While it’s always fun when Boston and New York come together, the temperature usually rises a few notches when the two clubs are in contention, and it certainly is this year. The two are currently looking for the Rays in the AHL East, but it’s a close race. Add in the Blue Jays, who are also above .500, and the AL East promises to be an engrossing fight until the end.
But shortstop Xander Bogaerts remains, and his consistent excellence has been a source of stability for the club. Bogaerts’ name isn’t always mentioned among the best shortstops in the game, but he leads the position – and the Red Sox – in wins over replacement, by FanGraphs, in 2021.
The Yankees, meanwhile, continue to rely heavily on Aaron Judge’s powerful bat and capable glove. The 6-foot-7 slugger has missed a lot of time since his spectacular 2017 rookie season, but he has remained healthy so far in 21, appearing in 54 of New York’s first 57 games. Few hitters can crush the ball like Judge, who owns MLB second rate of hard hits (percentage of balls hit with an exit speed of 95+ mph) and hit six home runs with an exit speed of 110+ mph.
Here’s a quick look at the match:
How they do
Red Sox (33-23, 2nd in AL Est)
Yankees (31-26, 3rd in AL East)
After a final spot in 2020, the Red Sox started 22-13 in their first 35 of 21 games to grab the top spot in LA East, but they come into the game. Friday’s series opener against the Yankees with an 11-10 Record in their previous 21 games. However, Boston still has the fifth-best points-per-game average (4.93) in the Majors.
The Yankees have struggled offensively all year, averaging just 3.74 points per game, the fifth-worst in the major leagues. The New York pitching staff kept the club afloat, recording the AL’s best ERA (3.25).
The clash on the mound
Red Sox – Nathan Eovaldi (6-2, 4.01 ERA in 11 starts)
Yankees – Michael King (0-2, 2.86 ERA in 8 games, including 1 start)
Eovaldi returns to the Bronx to face his old team. The right-hander has a 3.86 ERA in 29 career appearances (27 starts) at Yankee Stadium, although he allowed eight runs in 5 1/3 innings in his most recent outing there – on August 15 of last season. Eovaldi has been inconsistent in his last eight starts, allowing two earned runs or less in half of them and four or more in the other half.
King will get the ball for the Yankees, making his second start of the season. The right-hander has a 2.29 ERA in seven relief appearances, but allowed four runs (two earned) in 2 1/3 innings against the Tigers on Sunday in his first start of the year.
Players to watch
Bogaerts entered Thursday’s action mired in a 0-for-21 collapse, but broke the slip with a 2-for-5 performance. The shortstop hit .321 / .382 / .556 in April and May and is one of three Red Sox who have at least 10 homers this season, along with Rafael Devers (14) and JD Martinez (12). The trio have hit 30 of their 36 home runs in games won by the Red Sox.
The Yankees offense was carried by Judge, who averaged .300 with 13 homers and a .951 OPS in the first two months of the season. New York has six players who have racked up at least 100 home plate appearances and recorded an OPS under 700 this year, which makes Judge’s strong performance all the more crucial.
Do not forget it
The Red Sox and Yankees teamed up for a rare trade between the two rivals in January, as New York sent Adam Ottavino to Boston with minor league Frank German and $ 850,000 for a player to be named later or for. cash considerations. Despite some savagery (6.65 BB / 9), Ottavino was a key part of the Boston relievers box, registering a 2.91 ERA in 21 2/3 innings. Ottavino’s presence could weigh heavily against the Yankees’ right-handed roster. The 35-year-old has limited right-handed hitters to a .087 / .263 / .109 line in the first two months of this season.
Yankee Stadium’s short right-field porch should be an attractive target for Martinez, who recorded more circuits in opposite field (6) than any other hitter this season. Here’s a look at all of Martinez’s 2021 circuits, superimposed on Yankee Stadium.
When these two teams took the lead in the ninth inning this season, the game is usually over thanks to the remarkable work of the closest Aroldis Chapman and Matt Barnes. The two rank second and third respectively in batting average expected against, depending on the quality of contacts and strikeouts.
lowest xBA, 2021
Min. 50 batters faced (428 pitchers)
Jimmy Nelson (DAL): 116
Aroldis Chapman (NYY):. 120
Matt Barnes (BOS): .133
Jacob de Grom (NYM):. 147
Corbin Burnes (MIL): .148