A lot has changed since the last time the Red Sox and Yankees squared off.
When Boston took three of four from New York at Fenway Park on July 22-25, the Sox were in first place in the American League East and had a nine-game lead over their historic rivals. Things have gotten much tighter since then, and the two clubs are jockeying for position in an exciting AL Wild Card race.
The Red Sox and Yankees are set to play three games in two days starting with today's doubleheader -- the first game is going on now and is MLB.TV’s Free Game of the Day as well as an MLB Network Showcase Game. (Blackout restrictions apply, although live audio still will be available through MLB.TV in local markets.)
Here’s a quick breakdown of the matchup:
How they’re doing
Red Sox: 69-51, 2nd in AL East
Yankees: 66-52, 3rd in AL East
Only two games separate Boston and New York heading into the series, and the Bronx Bombers are 15-5 in their past 20 games after defeating the Angels on Monday.
The Yankees lost the Field of Dreams game in Dyersville, Iowa, on a walk-off homer by White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson last Thursday, but they recovered to win the next two games in Chicago to pick up their sixth straight series victory.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, swept the Orioles over the weekend to win their first series since July 26-28 against the Blue Jays.
The matchup on the mound
Red Sox: Tanner Houck (0-3, 2.93 ERA)
Yankees: Jordan Montgomery (4-5, 3.69 ERA)
Houck hasn’t allowed an earned run in seven innings spanning two appearances (one start) against New York in 2021. The right-hander has averaged less than five innings per start this season, but he's shown promise by striking out 39 batters and walking six in 26 2/3 frames as a starter.
Montgomery will come off the COVID injured list to make his first start since Aug. 1, when he allowed one run in five innings at Miami. That run is the only one he's allowed in his past three starts, covering 15 2/3 innings (0.57 ERA), going back to July 22. He's made three starts against the Red Sox this season, allowing six runs in 17 2/3 innings (3.06 ERA) with a 1.08 WHIP, but is 0-2.
Players to watch
Joey Gallo and Kyle Schwarber are both looking to put their stamp on this rivalry after joining the Yankees and Red Sox, respectively, at the Trade Deadline.
Gallo has a .177 average with a 40.8% strikeout rate through 17 games with New York, but he’s hit four big homers -- a go-ahead three-run blast in the bottom of the seventh inning in a win over the Mariners on Aug. 5, two in Saturday’s extra-inning victory over the White Sox and one on Monday to account for both runs in the Yanks' 2-1 victory over the Halos.
Gallo played four games against Boston earlier this season with the Rangers and was held to three hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk in 15 plate appearances.
Schwarber returned from the injured list to make his Red Sox debut on Friday and has gone 2-for-6 with two doubles and two walks in two games with the team.
Schwarber faced the Yankees in the Bronx on May 7-9 while with the Nationals and went 3-for-13 with a homer, a double and four K’s.
Don’t forget him
It’s hard to overlook the 6-foot-7 Aaron Judge, especially when he’s swinging the bat as well as he has this month. Through 15 games in August, Judge is hitting .333/.391/.633 with five homers, three doubles and 15 RBIs.
The Red Sox have held most of the Yankees’ hitters in check this season, but not Judge. He’s posted a .318 average, two homers, four RBIs and a 1.014 OPS across six games against Boston in 2021.
Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez has more opposite-field homers (10) than anyone else this season, and Yankee Stadium’s short right-field porch makes for an inviting target.
Martinez has 23 home runs overall, but if he played every game in the Bronx, Statcast estimates he’d have 29. Here are all of Martinez’s fly balls overlaid at Yankee Stadium.
Number of note
Head to head in 2021, the Red Sox have dominated the Yankees, winning 10 of 13 games (.769 winning percentage). Boston has recorded a higher winning percentage against New York only two other times: 1912 (.905) and 1973 (.778).