The Yankees officially eliminated the Red Sox from AL East contention by taking 3 out of 4 in their final matchup of the season. The Yankees were able to virtually lock up the AL East title while all but eliminating the Red Sox from postseason contention in the process. The team will now head to Detroit where they will play a Tigers team that became the first MLB team this season to lose 100 games. They look like they are headed for the worst record in the MLB, securing the #1 overall pick in next year’s draft. Look for the Yankees to emphasize rest in this series, while still securing at least a pair of wins against the MLB’s worse team.
Game 1: Friday 7:10 PM
TBD vs Edwin Jackson (3-9; 9.16 ERA)
The Yankees have not officially announced a starter in game one of the series. They announced that they are removing Domingo German from the rotation, and piggybacking him out of the bullpen in CC Sabathia starts in an effort to limit his innings. The team will likely turn to the bullpen in this game with Chad Green serving as the “opener”. The Tigers will turn to veteran journeyman Edwin Jackson. Jackson has been miserable this season but continues to get chances to pitch due to his ability as an innings eater.
Jackson is 2-8 in 22 career games against the Yankees. He has allowed 56 runs in 81 innings, good for a 5.22 ERA. In his lone start against the Yankees this season, he gave up 6 runs in only 3.1 innings while he was pitching with the Blue Jays. Look for the Yankees offense to feast on Jackson once again in this matchup.
Game 2: Saturday 4:05 PM
CC Sabathia (5-8; 4.93 ERA) vs Matthew Boyd (8-10; 4.57 ERA)
The Yankees will get CC Sabathia back from injury in game two of the series, while the Tigers send their ace, Matthew Boyd to the mound. Sabathia is not expected to provide much length in his first start back from a knee injury, and will be followed by Domingo German. Look for the duo to give the Yankees a quality outing against a terrible Tigers offense. Matthew Boyd has had quite a second half regression after a terrific start to the season. He has allowed 4 runs or more in 10 of his last 15 starts, raising his ERA more than a point and a half during that time.
In 40 career starts against the Tigers, Sabathia is 21-14 with a 4.16 ERA. The bulk of these starts came while he was a member of the Indians organization. He has not faced the team since 2017 and likely will only see the lineup once or twice in his return from injury. Boyd is 1-2 in 4 career starts against the Yankees, allowing 15 runs in 21 innings. He did have a tremendous start against the Yankees earlier this season, allowing just one run in 6.1 innings.
Game 3: Sunday 8:05 PM
J.A. Happ (12-8; 5.10 ERA) vs Spencer Turnbull (3-14; 4.68 ERA)
The series finale is a battle of pitchers who have struggled this season in J.A. Happ and Spencer Turnbull. Happ has had a miserable season so far, with most of his struggles resulting from poor command of his fastball and an inability to keep the ball inside the park. With that being said, he has been tremendous in his last 3 outings, riding a 15.1 inning scoreless streak into this start. Although it is still unlikely, Happ will be vying for one of the last spots on the postseason roster if he can continue this recent stretch of quality pitching. Turnbull is 0-10 in his last 14 starts, and has not won a start since the last week of May. He was once a big-time prospect after being a 2nd round pick in 2014, however some of that prospect shine has worn off as he has struggled to get the job done at the major league level.
Happ has started 11 games against the Tigers, and has struggled throughout his career against them. He is 3-2 but holds a 5.25 ERA in those games. He pitched particularly poorly against them in 2018, when he was 0-1 in 3 starts, but allowed 16 runs in only 15 innings. Meanwhile, Turnbull will be making his first career start against the Bronx Bombers.
Fantasy Players to Watch
DJ LeMahieu has hit a little bit of a dry spell lately. In the month of September, he is 5 for 24 with no extra base hits. Every baseball player goes through their ups and downs, and this appears to be one of those times when the hits just aren’t coming like they were for LeMahieu. Look for him to bounce back against a terrible Detroit team.
Aaron Judge is far and away the Yankees best outfielder. He is arguably the best hitter on this Yankees team. With Brett Gardner struggling recently, Cameron Maybin regressing back to his career numbers, and Clint Frazier not showing enough defensive wherewithal to warrant legitimate playing time, Judge has to be the choice in the fantasy series.
J.A. Happ has had a brutal 2019 season. Even with the recent stretch of terrific pitching, he still relies on soft contact for the bulk of his outs. Despite that, he is the best option for the starting pitcher in the fantasy series. Sabathia will not pitch long enough to really put up big strikeout numbers, while the starter for game one still has not been announced. As a result, the choice has to be Happ.
Domingo German has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his career while working out of the bullpen. The Yankees are likely going to piggyback German and Sabathia the rest of the season in an effort to limit his innings before the playoffs. German has electric stuff as a starter, which becomes amplified when he is asked to only get 3 innings of outs, rather than 6. Look for German to flash his best stuff out of the bullpen, and strike hitters out in a hurry.
Keep up with the series previews all season and as always Go Yankees!!
Editors Note: This is a new thing we are doing this season. Each series you will choose one outfielder, one infielder, one starting pitcher, and one relief pitcher. We are only counting two stats. Total bases for hitters and strikeouts for pitchers.
Your totals will be counted and a winner will receive a prize at the end of each month. Make sure you come back and make your picks before each series. You will find them right here on the series preview post.