Boston Red Sox at NY Yankees
When: 6:35 PM ET, Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Where: Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BRONX – The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are no strangers to sitting atop the American League East, combining for 17 division titles over the previous 20 seasons. Neither team has played anywhere close to that level in 2019, but the two archrivals will try to generate some momentum against each other when they meet for the first of two games in New York.
Boston combined the majors’ highest-scoring offense with a top-10 pitching staff en route to winning its fourth World Series title in 15 seasons last year, but the former has fallen off (tied for 14th with 74 runs scored) while the latter is among the worst in the majors (5.93 ERA, 28th). Both the offense and the pitching held true to form Monday as the Red Sox were pounded 8-1 by Baltimore on Monday in the final contest of a four-game set, leaving Boston without a series win in five tries this season.
New York has been marginally better despite dealing with a host of notable injuries, although it enters this series having lost five of six and sporting a 3-6 home record. The last of the Yankees’ recent losses came in New York on Sunday when they mustered only four hits and gave up five stolen bases to the Chicago White Sox in a 5-2 defeat.
TV: 6:35 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NESN (Boston), WPIX (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Chris Sale (0-3, 9.00 ERA) vs. Yankees LH James Paxton (1-2, 6.00)
Sale is easily off to the worst start to a season in his decorated career, giving up at least five runs in two of his first three turns while having lasted no more than four innings in those same outings. The seven-time All-Star was tagged for five runs on seven hits in four frames at home last Tuesday against Toronto after road losses at Seattle and Oakland. Sale boasts a 1.86 ERA in eight career appearances (seven starts) at Yankee Stadium and has tormented Aaron Judge, who is 3-for-18 with 13 strikeouts against him.
Paxton struggled through his worst turn in three tries as a Yankee on Wednesday, giving up five runs on eight hits – including two homers – over four innings in a loss to Houston. The British Columbia native’s only start at home was arguably his best since coming over in a trade from Seattle this offseason, yielding two runs (one earned) over 5 2/3 frames during a loss to Baltimore. J.D. Martinez (4-for-8) has fared well against Paxton, who is 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA in four career starts versus the Red Sox.
1. The Red Sox have won four of the last five meetings including last year’s AL Division series, but the Yankees took six of nine at home against Boston during the regular season.
2. New York has dropped two of three in each of its three home series. Each opponent (Baltimore, Detroit and Chicago) lost at least 98 games in 2018.
3. Boston OFs Andrew Benintendi (bruised right foot) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (flu) did not play Monday, which ultimately forced manager Alex Cora to give C Christian Vazquez his first career start at second base.