Jordan Montgomery (1-0, 1.59 ERA) vs. Zach Eflin (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies split a doubleheader on Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park. The games only went 7 innings because of a new doubleheader rule implemented by Major League Baseball. In an attempt not to wear players out, doubleheaders will be completed after 7 innings of play.
There is expected to be plenty of doubleheaders this season because of the coronavirus forcing cancellations, so this is their response to that. I’m not really for rules being changed in-season, and would have preferred to see a full 9 innings being played, but I see where they’re coming from. The Yankees were dispatched by a score of 11-7 in the early game, with J. A. Happ getting nailed for 3 hits and 4 earned runs in 3 innings.
Happ hasn’t looked good this season. The Yankees have to figure out something if Happ doesn’t improve. Aaron Judge had another big game, though, as he proved again that he can’t be stopped. Judge added three more RBI’s to his total. He’s hit 7 home runs and recorded 17 RBI’s in just 42 at-bats.
Judge is the clear front-runner for the AL MVP award. There really isn’t anyone else that could hold a candle next to Judge at the moment in that regard. Unfortunately, we aren’t going to be able to see the full extent of his ability in 2020. Who knows how many home runs Judge would have hit by now if this wasn’t a shortened season. We’ll have to extrapolate the data once the season is done, but that isn’t going to be an exact science.
Following the loss, the Yankees got a much better game from their pitching staff. It was a team effort, with Jonathan Loaisgia and Chad Green leading the way with 2.1 innings of work each. The Yanks picked up a 3-1 win and this time it didn’t involve Judge recording an RBI.
With Happ struggling for the Yanks, it’s especially important that Jordan Montgomery gets hot. He’s off to a good start, but we’ll have to see more from him. Montgomery is expected to get the nod against Zach Eflin, who is making his first start of the season today. Head below for our free New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies pick for August 6, 2020.
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NY Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies Prediction:
Jordan Montgomery got off to a nice start against the Boston Red Sox across 5.2 innings of work. He held the Red Sox to a run on one solo home run. Montgomery exited the contest with an ERA of 1.59 and 1.06 WHIP. The Yankees are expecting to get big things out of him this season. They’re confident he can turn a corner and get back to form after missing the majority of the last two years because of injury.
As a rookie, Montgomery recorded an ERA of 3.88 and 1.23 WHIP in 29 starts in 2017. The Yankees aren’t giving a rookie 29 starts if they weren’t confident in his ability. However, since then, Montgomery has pitched in just eight games, including his first start of 2020. He notched an ERA of 3.62 and six starts in his sophomore year before getting injured.
The organization was happy with what they saw from Montgomery in spring and summer training. He was solid for a 2.81 ERA and 0.69 WHIP. There were no indications of Montgomery bothered by his Tommy John surgery. It translated over to his first start in the regular season, as he was sharp against the Red Sox. A tougher matchup awaits him on Thursday versus the Phillies, but I think he can handle it reasonably well.
Zach Eflin has pitched in the majors for four years, going on his fifth this season. He recorded a career-high ERA of 4.13 last season. Eflin appeared in 32 games and showed signs of progress. Prior to that season, Eflin posted an ERA of 5.54, 6.16, and 4.36, so he’s going in the right direction.
The 26-year-old has been strong against the Yankees, as they’re hitting just .161 with 6 hits in 29 at-bats. That said, Eflin is dealing with back spasms, and his spring was horrific. He had a 7.36 ERA and 2.18 WHIP in two games of exhibition action. I’m not that confident in Eflin here against the red-hot bats of the Yankees. It might take him a game or two to get his feet underneath him again.