Here are the lineups:
|RED SOX (75-34)||YANKEES (68-38)|
|Betts RF||Hicks CF|
|Benintendi LF||Stanton RF|
|Pearce 1B||Gregorius SS|
|Martinez DH||Torres 2B|
|Kinsler 2B||Andujar 3B|
|Nunez 3B||Bird 1B|
|Swihart C||Voit DH|
|Holt SS||Romine C|
|Bradley CF||Gardner LF|
Pitching: LHP Brian Johnson (1-3, 3.45).
|Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (6-4, 3.53)|
Game time: 7:10 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN, YES, MLB Network / WEEI, WFAN.
Red Sox vs. Sabathia: Kinsler 12-43, Pearce 11-36, Bogaerts 5-33, Bradley 7-30, Betts 12-28, Benintendi 4-16, Nunez 4-15, Martinez 2-13, Leon 3-10, Moreland 2-10, Holt 0-3.
Yankees vs. Johnson: Gregorius 0-3, Andujar 0-2, Gardner 0-2, Stanton 2-2, Wade 0-2, Romine 0-1.
Stat of the Day: The Sox are on pace to win 111 games and score 850 runs. The Yankees are on pace to win 104 games and score 842 runs. One of them is going to finish in second place.
Opposites attract: CC Sabathia is facing the Red Sox for the 42nd time in his 18-year career. He has thrown 260 innings against the Sox. Brian Johnson is making his first career start against the Yankees. He has faced them three times in relief for a total of 4⅔ innings.
What to watch for: Sabathia has lasted only 15⅓ innings and allowed 11 earned runs in his last three starts. The Yankees needed their bullpen for 6⅓ innings on Wednesday against Baltimore. An early departure by Sabathia would further compromise their bullpen for the series.
Trending topics: The Sox have scored only six runs in their last three games and are 3 of 31 with runners in scoring position. However, their pitchers have allowed four runs in the last three games with the bullpen giving up one over 14⅓ innings. … Johnson has a 3.45 ERA overall but it’s 1.80 over 30 innings in six starts. … Mookie Betts is 4 of his last 24 in six games. He had a day off Tuesday (outside of one at-bat pinch hitting) and should benefit from essentially two days off. … Mitch Moreland is 4 of 28 since the All-Star break and has hit only .186/.275/.237 since July 1. Steve Pearce could play a big role in this series with the Yankees starting two lefties.
Missing stars: Chris Sale, Dustin Pedroia, Eduardo Rodriguez, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez are all on the disabled list for this series.
Homebody: J.D. Martinez has reached base safely in 45 consecutive games at Fenway Park. That’s the longest such streak since Miguel Cabrera reached in 46 consecutive games at Comerica Park in 2013. Martinez has hit .349/.414/.749 at home this season.
Just a reminder: Since he left the Red Sox after the 2013 season, Jacoby Ellsbury has given the Yankees 9.8 WAR and a .716 OPS at a cost of $98.4 million. He has not played this season because of injuries. Since 2014, Jackie Bradley Jr. has given the Red Sox 12.5 WAR and a .721 OPS at a cost of $9.3 million. Ellsbury is signed for two more seasons at $47.3 million counting a $5 million buyout for 2021.
Other notes: The Red Sox start the series with a 5.5-game lead on the Yankees. Their largest lead in the division this season has been six games. … The Sox had a day off Wednesday and have another one on Monday, so they can lean on their bullpen in this series. The Yankees do not have a scheduled day off until Aug. 20. … The Yankees lead the season series, 5-4. But the Sox have outscored the Yankees, 53-49. … Blake Swihart is 13 of 32 with five extra-base hits in an 11-game hit streak. … The Sox are 38-15 at home and have won 14 of 17. … Johnson has thrown 4⅔ scoreless innings in three relief appearances against the Yankees this season. … Sabathia has faced the Sox twice this season and allowed five runs on 15 hits over 11 innings. … Betts (14 of 25, eight extra-base hits, eight RBIs) and Martinez (10 of 36, four extra-base hits, 11 RBIs) have mashed against the Yankees this season. Giancarlo Stanton (14 of 33, six extra-base hits, seven RBIs) has pounded the Sox.
Song of the Day: “Pray You Catch Me” by Beyoncé.
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