Another edition of the best rivalry in baseball gets underway Friday night in the Bronx. While the Yankees have asserted their dominance over the AL East over the last couple months, the Red Sox are floundering around the .500 mark. Both of these offenses can put up the runs in a hurry, so this should be an exciting series. Let’s take a look at the first game of this important series.
The Red Sox have managed to average the third most runs of any team in baseball despite being short-handed on offense all season. David Ortiz has been the team’s best hitter all season, but he is currently on the disabled list due to an Achilles injury. The good news for Boston is they now have Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford back in the lineup. With Ellsbury and Crawford’s speed, this team should be able to bump up their stolen base total quickly. Adrian Gonzalez has been a hitting machine over the last month after starting the season out slowly.
Boston’s problem has been terrible pitching, especially the starting rotation. Jon Lester has been awful and strangely enough the starter with the best ERA is rookie Felix Doubront. Doubront’s ERA is 4.54, so he hasn’t been very good; it’s just that everyone else has been even worse. Aaron Cook was brought into the rotation because of injuries, and he has been good thus far. Cook hasn’t been consistent in recent years, and he’ll be challenged by a tough lineup in this one.
New York leads the majors in home runs. The Bronx Bombers have 153 homers on the season. The Yankees can pile up the runs in bunches because everyone in this lineup is capable of hitting it out of the park. The acquisition of Ichiro Suzuki caught a lot of people off guard earlier this week, but it should be a great move for the Yankees. With Brett Gardner out for the season, the Yankees picked up Ichiro to have a great hitter who can steal some bases. He should fit into the lineup well. Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter are both having terrific seasons for the Yankees in 2012.
The Yankees pitching has been much better over the past couple months, and that is why the team has put so much distance on the rest of the AL East. New York has the 8th best ERA in the majors despite pitching in a park that is favorable to hitters. Phil Hughes is one of the best examples of the Yankee pitching staff turnaround. Hughes started the season horribly, but he has been pretty good of late. He has four quality starts in his last five outings.
MLB Free Pick: Yankees ML
The price here is a little steep, but I still think it is a pretty good value. It would shock me if Aaron Cook can shut down the Yankees lineup. New York is just the more complete team right now.