The Detroit Tigers will look to throw a wrench in Yankees’ plans with nothing more for them to play for. The Yanks are currently 4.5 games behind the Red Sox, while they have to worry about defending their wildcard position as well. The Yankees could win the division, a wildcard, or miss out on the postseason all together.
They really need Aaron Judge to play clutch baseball down the stretch. There are going to be many opportunities to win games and be clutch over the next month. Judge, though, is stuck in a hole at the moment. He is swinging wildly at pitches and striking out at an alarming rate. The Yankees have to get a hot bat in his hand.
The Aaron Judge regression began after the All-Star break. You can blame it on the Home Run Derby, or just simple statistical variance. Whatever it is, Judge needs to come up big when the pressure is on. The other night he came up empty with not one but two chances with the bases juiced against the Red Sox. That has to stop. He doesn’t have to go long every at-bat, but keeping innings alive will do just fine. There have been some rumors about a shoulder injury, which would make sense, however nothing has been confirmed.
The Yankees will catch a break in Detroit this evening against Matt Boyd. I feel, anyway, that Boyd might be what the dr ordered for the Yankees. Boyd hasn’t been pitching well at all this season and will have to work on some things in the offseason if he wants to stick around. And then for all of the fingers being pointed at Judge, there’s a guy in the rotation who could be pitching better.
Masahiro Tanaka will step to the hump at Comerica tonight. He hasn’t been producing ace numbers. With his contract, there hasn’t been much value from him. In the midst of a postseason race, they can still get a lot of Tanaka, though. We’ll see how he performs tonight against the Tigers. Get our free Yankees vs. Tigers pick below.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers Pick
Masahiro Tanaka (8-10, 4.92 ERA) vs. Matt Boyd (5-6, 5.70 ERA)
If Judge is in fact injured, it would be a significant blow to the Yankees’ chances of doing anything in the postseason. That is of course if they do hang on and keep a spot. Like I said, I think this is a good opportunity for their offense to get something going, though. Boyd has hasn’t shown much for the Tigers. The last time he allowed less than 3 runs was back on April 16th! Yes, that long ago. His last appearance was out of the bullpen vs the Dodgers, where he allowed a run and two walks in 1.1 innings. In his previous two starts, he’s allowed an average of 1.63 hits per inning, as well as 10 runs in 9.2 innings. Overall, he holds a 7.71 ERA and 2.00 WHIP in his last three appearances on the mound.
The Yankees’ offense should be able to wake up against Boyd. If not, there will be some heads rolling in the Bronx. The Yanks will counter Boyd with Tanaka, who enters tonight with an ERA of 4.92. On the road, he’s been even shakier with a 5.80 ERA. In his last three starts on the road, Tanaka allowed 10 runs. The wind will be blowing out to left field on Tuesday night. I think there will be opportunities for some runs on the board. If it’s in doubt, the Tigers and their dead last bullpen should come in to deliver a launching pad for the Yankees. I like our Tuesday MLB pick to go OVER the total.
PICK: OVER 9.5 (-110)