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Struggling Yankees host Sox on Sunday
By: Staff Writer - StatFox
Published: 8/11/2017  at  7:02:00 PM
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First pitch: Sunday, 8:00 p.m. ET
Line: N/A, Total: N/A

The Yankees will be hoping to earn a big home win over the Red Sox on Sunday.

Boston and New York are currently fighting for the top spot in the AL East, but the Red Sox are pulling away a bit. Boston has been scorching hot since the All-Star break, but the team has also been boosted by a trade for 3B Eduardo Nunez. He has been a revelation for the Sox, who really had nothing at the third base position prior to the move. As for the Yankees, many people talked about them contending for a World Series title after making moves to acquire RHP Sonny Gray and a bunch of very good relievers. The trade has not yet helped New York, which has struggled to find any consistency over the past few months. Still, the Yankees are a very talented team and will be eager to defeat their rivals in this game. Expect a ton of intensity, but the Red Sox are going to be the more confident team here. They’re sending AL Cy Young Award frontrunner LHP Chris Sale (14-4, 2.57 ERA, 229 K) to the mound in this one, and he has been almost unhittable this season. For the Yankees, LHP Jordan Montgomery (7-6, 4.05 ERA, 111 K) will do his best to hold his own in this pitching matchup.

Chris Sale is heading to the hill for Boston on Sunday, and the lefty has been ridiculous for the Red Sox lately. In his most recent start, Sale pitched eight innings of shutout ball against the Rays on Aug. 8. He struck out 13 batters in that game and he has now struck out 10 or more batters in seven of his past 10 starts. He’ll now face a Yankees offense that he shut out in 7.2 innings of work on Jul. 15. The Sox did, however, lose that game 4-1, so expect Sale to make it his goal to get into the eighth inning in this one. On offense, two guys to really keep an eye on for Boston are OF Mookie Betts and the previously mentioned Nunez. Both guys are going to be looking forward to facing a lefty like Montgomery in this one. 1B Hanley Ramirez could also make an impact in this one, as he has homered off of Montgomery before.

The Yankees need all of the wins over the Red Sox that they can get, as they still have hopes of winning the AL East. It would take a lot for New York to miss the postseason, but anything can happen. But still, the Yankees have to feel that they are closer to winning a division than missing out on the playoffs as a whole. Expect them to play like it in this one, and don’t be shocked if Montgomery pitches a great game. He was excellent in his most recent start, allowing only one earned run in 5.0 innings of work. The lefty struck out seven batters in that game and walked none. It’d be absolutely huge if he turned in another performance like that here. As for offense, the Yankees will need guys like C Gary Sanchez and OF Aaron Judge to step it up in this one. Both have tremendous power, but New York has not gotten much out of Judge since the All-Star break. That is a huge reason the team is struggling, so the Yankees will need Judge to get it going soon.

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