Image licensed from USA Today Sports
The Boston Red Sox (55-36) begin their proverbial second half of the season with a visit to American League East rival New York Yankees. Boston was defeated by the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 on Sunday prior to the All-Star break, but the Red Sox remained first in the American League East with a 1 ½-point lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. However, the Red Sox have struggled too late to lose two straight and four of the last five. The Red Sox continue to perform well at the plate with the third best team batting average, slugging percentage and run scored.
New York struggled throughout its first half of the season. The Yankees fell to 46-43 after losing to the Houston Astros 8-7 last Sunday before the break. The Yankees showed signs of life in the final week before the All-Star break, winning five of the last seven. However, the Yankees are in third place in the AL East 8 games behind first-place Red Sox and tied for the Toronto Blue Jays. New York’s pitching has kept the Yankees in the aftermath with the 10th best team ERA.
Hitting continues to run the Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox finished the first half of the regular season in first place in the American League East thanks to excellent production on the record. Boston is third in the team’s stroke average of .259, slugging percentage at .439 and in runs scored with 464. The Red Sox have been led at the plate by shortstop Xander Bogaerts and third baseman Rafael Devers. Bogaerts leads the Red Sox with a stroke average of .321 and hits with 103, while the Devers have 22 home runs and 72 RBIs to lead Boston in both categories. JD Martinez had a very strong first half, hitting 23 doubles, 18 home runs and knocking on 62 runs.
Boston’s performance on the mound is not equal to that on the record, but the Red Sox is an above average 13th in team ERA at 4.09. However, Boston has battled in WHIP at 1.39, which is 26, and opponents have an average of .260 on the plate against Red Sox pitching, which is also 26. Nick Pivetta is leading in Boston in strikes with 113 and Nathan Eovaldi is leading. in victories with 9. Eduardo Rodriguez gets the nod on the mound Thursday. The Red Sox left-handed is 6-5 with a 5.52 ERA and 104 strikes.
Injury Report: Boston starts the second half of the season without Matt Andriese, Eduardo Bazardo, Ryan Brasier, Marwin Gonzalez, Danny Santana and Chris Sale.
The Yankees need more production on the plate
The New York Yankees are just three games over .500 to 89 games, and much of that is due to a lack of production on the record. The Yankees have the 17th best team stroke average at .236, the 17th best slugging percentage at .394 and have scored the 23rd most runs with 370. Right field Aaron judge has been the statistical leader for most of the first half of the season, leading the Yankees with 21 home runs and 47 RBIs. Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez are number two in the home race with 15 each.
New York is still in playoff battle because of its performance on the mound. The Yankees are 10th in team ERA at 3.79, 5th in WHIP at 1.17 and opposing hitters have an average of .228 on the plate against New York pitching, which is 9th in baseball. Gerrit Cole leads both New York and MLB in strikes with 147, has the most wins for New York with 9 and leads in the ERA to begin with 2.68. The Yankees have yet to release the name of their starting pitcher for Thursday’s game against Boston.
Injury Report: New York begin the second half of their regular season without Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier, Aaron Hicks, Michael King, Corey Kluber, Jonathan Loaisiga, Darren O’Day, Clarke Schmidt and Luis Severino.
- New York is 4-10 in the last 14 when starting a new series
- The Yankees are 3-7 in the last 10 against a team from AL East
- Boston is 6-2 in the last eight against a team with a winning record
- The Red Sox are 21-7 in the last 28 against a team from AL East