New York Yankees Turn To Masahiro Tanaka To Kickoff Crucial Series At Fenway
Bob DeChiara-USATSI

Following a devastating loss on Wednesday night, the New York Yankees head to Boston for a huge four-game series.

  • New York Yankees (77-68)
  • Boston Red Sox  (81-64)
  • American League, 7:05 PM ET , YES Network
  • Fenway Park, Boston, MA

The New York Yankees are coming off a despicable loss on Wednesday to the Los Angeles Dodgers that they would like to forget. Especially when they fell in shutout fashion and committed three errors.

On Thursday, New York will ship up to Boston only two games back from the second Wild Card spot and only four games back of Boston for first place in the division. This four-game set will be the one that truly makes or breaks the Yankees season.

This four-game set will be the one that truly makes or breaks the Yankees’ season.

Tonight, manager Joe Girardi hands the ball to his ace, Masahiro Tanaka, who is looking to continue his domination as of late.

The righty is coming off a start where he struck out 10 Rays’ batters in 7.1 innings of work while giving up only one run. His success stems from his last seven starts, where he is undefeated with a 1.94 ERA.

Opposing Tanaka will be Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who has dominated the Bombers in his short big league career.

Rodriguez is 4-1 with an ERA of 1.88 in six career starts against New York. The southpaw is coming off a start against the Blue Jays where he gave the Sox six strong innings, giving up only two earned runs.

Lineups:

 

Player To Watch:

Didi Gregorius 

Many of the hitters in the Yankees’ lineup have trouble against left-handed pitchers, Didi is definitely not one of them. So far this season, he has a .303/.344/.454 slash line while facing lefties compared to slashing .268/.285/.444 while facing righties.

Throughout his career, Gregorius has been able to hit off Rodriguez fairly well. In a total of 17 at-bats, Didi has an average of .353 with a double which is something that will be in E-Rod’s mind.

As well as hitting Rodriguez well, Didi has started to break out of his slump as of late, hitting a huge home run on Tuesday to go back-to-back with Jacoby Ellsbury.

A Look At The Rivalry:

The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is one of the oldest and most historic rivalries in sports history. However, in 2016 the Red Sox have gotten the best of the Yankees in the 12 games that they have played.

So far this season the Yankees are 5-7 against the boys from Boston and have not seen much success while playing at Fenway. In the six games they played at Fenway, the Yankees are 2-4 which include the Red Sox sweeping them in a three-game set back in April.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Moments Of The Red Sox/Yankees Rivalry 

Bold Prediction:

New York will win the series opener by a score of 3-1 which will include a gem by Masahiro Tanaka as well as home run number 15 from the young phenom, Gary Sanchez.

NEXT: What Does The Signing Of Billy Butler Mean?

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