The Red Sox take on the New York Yankees tonight to kick off a three-game series as they continue to battle over that No. 1 spot in the AL East. The Red Sox are currently one and a half games up on the Bombers.
These two teams usually go .500, but the Red Sox have had the clear upper hand and have already won the majority of their matchups against New York for the year.
These two teams are pretty evenly matched as far as talent goes, but as a team, the Red Sox are superior. CC Sabathia will be hurling for the Yankees tonight against John Lackey. The Yankees have Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett on line to pitch Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
Sabathia is the only pitcher in the Yankees lineup that the Red Sox hitters should be struggling against, but they do anything but struggle.
Sabathia (17-7) is not just having a spectacular year, he is having Cy Young kind of season. He has an ERA of 2.99 leading into tonight.
When he steps onto the mound tonight in Fenway Park, though, his 17 wins will not be what he is thinking about. It will be the four losses he has suffered at the hands of the Boston Red Sox. His ERA against the Red Sox this season is 7.20.
What people need to understand is that it is not on Sabathia. It is simply that the Red Sox can see something in his pitching that no other teams are seeing in the film room. The Sox hitters are able to go out there and knock this guy around and leave with a win.
"When I'm right, I can beat anyone," said Sabathia. Then he hasn't been right against the Red Sox on his account.
The only drawback of this matchup is the guessing game that comes with any John Lackey start.
Coming into this game, Lackey is throwing a 7.36 ERA against the Yankees.
If the Red Sox streak against Sabathia can continue tonight and Lackey can throw a good game (not asking much), the Yankees should come out on top.
After tonight, each game should basically be a layup for the Sox with Beckett facing Hughes and Lester facing Burnett. Two Red Sox aces against two struggling Yankee starters.
First pitch at 7:10.