Yankees And Royals Start Four-Game Series In The Bronx

Sonny Gray New York YankeesThe New York Yankees (64-36) dropped their first series in a month against the Tampa Bay Rays, but they now head home where they will start a four-game series against the struggling Kansas City Royals (31-70).

The Yankees, who a bullpen that continues to be lights out, look to capitalize on a Kansas City team that has lost two of their last three and went 27-68 in the first half.

The Yankees very solid pen leads the league in strikeouts, opponents batting average and ERA. The addition of Zach Britton gives the Yankees bullpen four of the 14 active pitchers who have a career relief ERA under 2.50 with at least 100 relief innings.

Aroldis Chapman, Zach Britton, and David Robertson are now the sixth trio of teammate relievers with 130 or more career saves since 1969.

Game 1 will feature Sonny Gray (7-7, 5.08 ERA) opposite right-hander Jakob Junis (5-10, 5.06 ERA) who has lost seven of his last nine outings. Gray has been solid as of late winning his last two starts while notching 14 strikeouts and holding opposing batters to a .150 average.

In Game 2 on Friday night veteran CC Sabathia (6-4, 3.51 ERA) will go head-to-head with Brad Keller (3-4, 3.20 ERA). The Yankees southpaw has a career 3.15 ERA and a 6.36 winning percentage in 40 games against the Royals. This season he’s struck out 77 batters in 55.2 innings of work.

On Saturday morning Yankees ace Luis Severino (14-3) gets the nod against Heath Fillmyer (0-1, 2.81 ERA). Severino, who leads the league in wins, looks to continue his 2018 dominance. This season he’s pitched to the tune of a 2.63 ERA while striking out 10.3 batters per nine innings pitched.

Masahiro Tanaka (8-2, 4.09 ERA) will close out the series on Sunday against Kansas City’s Burch Smith (1-1, 5.58 ERA). In his last start against the Detroit Tigers Smith tossed 6.1 innings while striking out six players to earn his first win of the season. Tanaka is coming off a superb game against the Rays on Tuesday as he tossed a three-hit complete-game shutout and struck out nine batters.

The Yankees hope to deliver some royal damage in the Bronx to earn a win and avoid their first two-game losing streak of the second half.



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