Bucky Dent is back with his take on how the Yankees can beat their biggest rivals, the Boston Red Sox.
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On paper, the New York Yankees are a better team than the Boston Red Sox. They have a stronger lineup, a deeper rotation, and a more reliable bullpen. But the Yankees have struggled against the Sox this season, losing seven of their first ten games.
So what gives? How can the Yankees turn things around and beat the Sox?
For one thing, they need to stop making so many mistakes. In their seven losses to Boston, the Yankees have made a total of 24 errors. That’s unacceptable.
The Yankees also need to get more production out of their big bats. Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez have a combined batting average of just .203 against the Sox. They need to start hitting if the Yankees are going to win.
And finally, the Yankees need to find a way to beat Chris Sale. The Red Sox left-hander has been dominant against them this season, posting an 0.86 ERA in three starts. If the Yankees can’t solve Sale, they’re not going to beatBoston.
The Yankees’ strengths
The Yankees have a lot of firepower in their lineup. They have players who can hit for power and for average, and they have a deep bench. They also have a strong pitching staff, led by ace Luis Severino. The key for the Yankees is to score early and often and to shut down the Sox offense.
The Yankees have a decided advantage on the mound, with a pitching staff that’s both deep and talented.
New York’s starting rotation is anchored by Luis Severino, one of the best young pitchers in baseball. Severino has a sparkling 2.74 ERA and 0.99 WHIP, and he’s struck out 202 batters in 191 innings.
After Severino, the Yankees can trot out Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Sonny Gray, all of whom have experience pitching in the postseason. The Yankees also have two more solid options in their rotation in Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga.
In the bullpen, the Yankees are led by closer Aroldis Chapman, who has been terrific this season with a 2.11 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 42 saves. Chapman is supported by Dellin Betances, Zach Britton and Chad Green, among others.
The Yankees have one of the best lineups in baseball. They finished second in the majors in runs scored and OPS last season, and they added one of the game’s best hitters in Giancarlo Stanton over the offseason. Stanton gives the Yankees a dangerous middle-of-the-order bat to pair with Aaron Judge, who might be the best hitter in baseball. The Yankees also have a deep lineup with several other good hitters, such as Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius, and Brett Gardner.
The Red Sox have a good lineup too, but it’s not as good as the Yankees’. The Red Sox finished fifth in the majors in runs scored and OPS last season, and they lost one of their best hitters, J.D. Martinez, to free agency this offseason. The Red Sox still have a good middle-of-the-order with Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, but they don’t have the same kind of depth as the Yankees.
The Yankees are one of the best fielding teams in baseball. They have great range and sure hands, and they don’t make many errors. This is a big strength, because it means they can make plays that other teams can’t.
The Sox are a good fielding team too, but they don’t have the same range as the Yankees. This means that the Yankees have an advantage inclose games, because they’re more likely to make the plays that matter.
The Sox’s weaknesses
The Sox are a good team, there’s no doubt about it. But the Yankees are a great team. And when it comes to the playoffs, great teams usually win. So how can the Yankees beat the Sox? Here are the Sox’s weaknesses.
One of the Sox’s main weaknesses this year has been their pitching. They have given up the most runs in the majors and their team ERA is 4.72, which is 28th in the league. Their starters have been especially bad, as they have an ERA of 5.20, which is 29th in the MLB. Chris Sale has been the only bright spot in their rotation, as he has an ERA of 2.90 and a 10-4 record. The rest of their starters have combined for a record of 21-29 with an ERA north of 4.70. If the Yankees are going to beat the Sox, they are going to have to take advantage of their pitching staff.
The big thing that stands out to me is their lack of left-handed hitters. Only four guys in their projected lineup (Granderson, Gardner, Cano, Suzuki) hit from the left side. And while Granderson did have a great year last year, he’s struggled against lefties throughout his career. I think the Yankees can take advantage of that by loading up on left-handed pitchers.
The Yankees have an obvious advantage in the field. They have consistently had one of the best defenses in baseball over the past few years, while the Sox have been steadily declining in that department. This was on full display in game two when Brock Holt made a costly error that led to a Yankee run. The Sox simply cannot afford to make mistakes like that if they want to win this series.
In conclusion, the Yankees can beat the Sox by using their speed and power to their advantage. They should also take advantage of Boston’s weak bullpen and lack of depth in the starting rotation. If they can do these things, they will be able to win the AL East.