Luis Severino mans the bump for the Bombers tonight in the finale of a three game set against the host Chicago White Sox. He is coming off a string of shaky starts and some are wondering if he’s all there physically.
The Wise Guys
The Yankees are heavily favored to complete a sweep of the White Sox tonight, with a huge -262 moneyline. The over/under is 8.5, and two light hitting ball clubs usually combine for an under, as have 4 of the last 5 games between these teams at Guaranteed Rate stadium. But there could be more at play behind the scenes.
Big Test For Severino
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With the consecutive less than quality outings now mounting, it’s high time Sevy looked like his old self. And the situation for a gem couldn’t be lined up better. The opponent is 31 games below .500 (41-72), 21.5 games out of first place, even worse in contention for a Wild Card slot (28.5). In the first two games of the series, New York pitching has held Chicago to a total of 3 runs and 9 hits over 22 innings. There is no reason that dominance should not continue. Unless.
Unless, maybe Luis Severino is hurt. Something he’s not telling the club about, or the club is not telling the world about. If this is the case, the Yankees are in deeper trouble than they appear. Dreams of a division title are just about kaput. To hold off the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners down the stretch with a Severino-less rotation is a tall order. In one stretch of shaky pitching earlier in the season, the Yankees slugged their way into the win column seemingly every night. Those days are long gone. This team is no longer putting up multiple innings of crooked numbers per game.
One Chicago hitter who won’t care if Severino isn’t himself is right-fielder Jose Abreu (4-11, .364) and having a solid series. Abreu hit a two-run blast off Zach Britton to knot up last night’s game and send it to extras.
Most of the usual suspects in the White Sox lineup are in slumps themselves, including outfielder Avisail Garcia (.179 for August), Matt Davidson (0-8) and Yoan Moncada (.107). All eyes should be on Severino. If he can’t mow down this lineup, something is not right.
Lucas Giolito vs The Yankees
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Giolito, a 24-year-old native of Santa Monica, California, was a first round selection in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft by the Washington Nationals. In June of 2016, the fireballing right-hander made his MLB debut, and finished the season with some rough numbers. Despite a four-seam fastball that breaks the 100mph barrier, Giolito was hammered for 7 home runs, 16 earned runs and 26 hits over 21.1 innings the rest of the way. In December of that year, he was traded to the White Sox (along with last night’s starter Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning) for outfielder Adam Eaton.
Similar to Chicago’s first two starters in this series, Yankee hitters have little to no history with Giolito. Only Neil Walker has faced him (1-4, 1 base on balls). With once again most of New York hitters in a funk, only Giancarlo Stanton (.300), Didi Gregorius (.276) and Miguel Andujar (.296) are solid picks tonight.
Remember this is for speculation only, not meant to be taken as gospel. And don’t forget to double-check your lineup(s) just prior to game time as the weather may create havoc for you. We exist under the manta that “You can’t predict baseball” but it’s fun trying. Good luck with your lineup and let’s go Yankees!