Series Preview: New York Yankees vs. Cincinnati Reds (7/12-7/14 2022)

New York Yankees vs. Cincinnati Reds

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How will the Bombers fare against a Cincy team that just completed a three-game sweep of the Rays?

The Yankees return home after four action-packed games at Fenway Park, where they will face 3 interleague games against the Reds. They will look to rebound from 2 consecutive disappointing losses to the Red Sox, which dropped the Bombers to a 5-5 road trip. And, while the Reds appeared more excited in competition for the offseason teardown trophy than fielding a challenging roster, this team should not be underestimated — they come into the Bronx fresh off a three-game sweep of the Rays. Consider the starting pitching match – ups for this midweek series.

Tuesday: Gerrit Cole vs. Graham Ashcraft, 7:05 P.M. EDT

What I’m about to say will likely be unpopular. Aside from Rafael Devers owning his soul, Gerrit Cole had some of his best things of the season Thursday night against the Red Sox. His fastball speed and control was as sharp as I’ve seen this year while the slider produced high draw volume.

Of course, that’s not how baseball works. You can’t just delete the things you don’t like to create a data set that fits a pre-packaged narrative.That being said, I’m also a strong believer in weighing process over results. If he can repeat the course of the game against Boston, he has a good chance of a positive result. In 17 starts, Cole is 8-2 with a 3.26 ERA (115 ERA+), 3.61 FIP and 124 strikeouts in 99.1 innings.

Cole meets Reds rookie right-hander Graham Ashcraft. A sixth-round pick of UAB’s 2019 MLB draft, Ashcraft made his MLB debut that year on May 22 against the Blue Jays. His primary weapon is the cutter, which is thrown more than 50 percent of the time and has the third highest average speed (97.5 mph) of any cutter in baseball. He uses a mid-80’s slider as a launch pad and a high-90’s sinker to induce ground balls.

Despite throwing so hard, Ashcraft does an excellent job of limiting hard contact, ranking in the 94th percentile for average muzzle velocity, 85th percentile for barrel rate, and 80th percentile for hard hit rate. It limits free passes (96th percentile walk rate), but it won’t swipe you either (5th percentile swipe rate, 2nd percentile nose rating). In nine starts, Ashcraft is 4-2 with a 4.35 ERA (106 ERA+), 4.03 FIP and 29 strikeouts in 49.2 innings.

Wednesday: Luis Severino vs. Mike Minor, 7:05 P.M. EDT

Luis Severino will look to continue his strong start to the season after playing six shutout innings against the Pirates. Although the strikeouts on his last two starts have been touchdowns, the run suppression is still impressive. Much of that success can be attributed to his redesigned slider and increased confidence when throwing shots. He is considered one of the best in the game in scent rate (41.7 percent), call strike plus scent rate (40.1 percent) and Statcast Run Value (-6 runs). In 15 starts, Severino is 5-3 with a 3.11 ERA (121 ERA+), 3.53 FIP and 94 strikeouts in 84 innings.

Sevy meets veteran left-hander Mike Minor, who was acquired from the Royals for Amir Garrett in March. He missed the first two months of the season after injuring his shoulder in spring training and has been baseball’s lowest-rated starter since his season debut. As an extreme flyball pitcher, Minor has allowed the highest home run rate (2.84 HR/9) of any starter since early June. His fastball is struggling to touch 90, though his 2019 changeup was rated the eighth-best pitch in baseball by Statcast’s Run Value metric at -25 runs. In seven starts, Minor is 1-6 with a 6.63 ERA (70 ERA+), 6,79 FIP und 32 Strikeouts in 38 Innings.

Thursday: Nestor Cortes vs. Luis Castillo, 7:05 P.M. EDT

Nestor Cortes gets the ball in the series finale as he tries to regain the form many had projected him to be as an American League All-Star starter. The long ball in particular has taken a toll on the Yankees‘ left-hander in recent games. He gave up nine in his last 28.2 innings after giving up just four in his first 60 innings of the season. However, he has yet to concede more than four runs in a start and pitch speed has remained consistent if not up an iota, an encouraging sign when it comes to fatigue considering Cortes is already at a career high in openings has broken . and he’s just a start away from making a high-innings career. In 16 starts, Cortes is 7-3 with a 2.74 ERA (137 ERA+), 3.61 FIP and 95 strikeouts in 88.2 innings.

It won’t be an easy task for Cortes as he faces Cincinnati staff ace Luis Castillo. Castillo promises to become one of the hottest names in the market as the trade deadline nears and there’s a roughly zero per cent chance he’s still wearing a Reds shirt on August 3.The Yankees have been linked with the 29-year-old right-hander each of the last three seasons, to the point where his start at the stadium feels like an audition of sorts. A unique combination of strikeouts and groundballs, he is the only qualified starting pitcher in baseball with at least 25 percent strikeouts and 50 percent groundballs as of early 2019. In 12 starts, Castillo has a 3-4 record with a 2.92 ERA (158 ERA+), 3.03 FIP and 74 strikeouts in 71 innings.

What do you think, leave a comment below.

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