Mookie Betts, Aaron Judge
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

The New York Yankees are looking to right the ship in this four-game set against their division rivals. The second goal? To bury the Boston Red Sox.

Allison Case

So, things didn’t quite work out at Fenway Park just about a week ago. In fact, the New York Yankees squandered the opportunity to put the Boston Red Sox away for good by allowing the defending champs to take three of four in their home park.

Luckily, since then, the Red Sox have lost four straight and dropped in the standings. Now 10.5 behind their New York rivals, the Red Sox need a miracle.

Will the Yankees let them walk all over them or will the Sox plunge to the basement of the AL East in one fell swoop?

Here’s what we have to look forward to in this four-game set in the Bronx:

Unexpected Hot Bats in the Bronx

We’re used to the Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez types teaming up and wreaking havoc on the pitiful teams in the AL East. Instead, the Yankees have some unexpected names carrying their big sticks into the contest.

Gio Urshela has been magical all season long so this past week doesn’t come as too much of a shock. Urshela enters tonight batting .563 with a 1.000 slugging percentage in his last seven games. In this span, five of his nine hits were for extra bases.

Edwin Encarnacion is starting to pick up as well, batting .400 in his last five games. With Luke Voit being injured, Encarnacion finds himself spending more time at first base and getting some quality at-bats.

And what about Mike Tauchman? While the month of July was scorching for him, he’s still batting .313 in the past week for the Bombers, including several clutch hits.

On the Boston side, Andrew Benintendi leads the charge, batting a clean .500 in his last six games with three “home runs.” 25-year-old Sam Travis is putting together a fine season, putting up similar stats to Benintendi in his last six games.

Both Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers are continuing their hot hitting, both hitting .393 in the last week. Bogaerts also added two home runs to his stats during this span as well.

If these bats keep it up, this could be one hot series in the Bronx.

Starting Pitching

While the rotation is still up in the air with the recent string of injuries and J.A. Happ’s paternity leave, the Yankees do know that they’ll be sending James Paxton for Friday night’s contest and Domingo German out for Game 2.

Paxton started out July quite strong but has since fallen off. His last performance was a four-inning ordeal where he surrendered seven runs to the Red Sox.

German, on the other hand, is coming off a victory, the only one against the Red Sox in that series. German went 5.1 innings while allowing just three runs in the 9-6 Yankees victory. German also struck out nine batters, tying his season-high.

The Red Sox are just as confused when it comes to their rotation. While Eduardo Rodriguez is slated for Friday night, the other two starters are unknown until David Price’s visit for Sunday Night Baseball.

However, even that is in jeopardy, as Price was placed on his own paternity list.

Playoff Implications

This series is far more important for the Red Sox than it is for the Yankees. However, that doesn’t mean the Yankees don’t want to bury them so they never see the light of day again.

Dark? Absolutely. But this is the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. It’s about to go down in the Bronx.

Allison is just a girl with an enormous passion for the game of baseball and the written word. Based in Upstate New York, her life-long relationship with the New York Yankees is something that she developed through close relationships with her mother and grandfather. An aspiring sports writer, she graduated with a journalism degree and is finding places to share her excitement about the sporting world and how it affects us all.