Yankees vs. Red Sox: Breaking down how the rivals match up

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The Yankees and Red Sox will meet for another critical series this weekend in The Bronx, with Boston streaking and having won eight straight games to wrest control of the AL East.

Here’s a look at how the two rivals match up:

At the plate

Getting on base: Before a pair of recent outbursts against the Indians and Blue Jays, the Yankees lineup had gone mostly quiet, scoring three or fewer runs in six of seven games. Aaron Judge’s recent slide was made up for by Clint Frazier’s hot streak, but he cooled off dramatically before heading to the DL with an oblique injury. Aaron Hicks’ return from his own oblique ailment could help, if he returns to the form he showed early this season. Boston’s lineup has flourished since the arrival of former Yankee Eduardo Nunez from San Francisco. Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez have both been dealing with injuries, but figure to be ready to play.

Edge: Red Sox

Power: The Yankees have had the advantage here for most of the season, but with Judge in a funk — he entered Thursday with just five homers in 106 plate appearances since the All-Star Game — and Gary Sanchez with only five homers in his past 145 plate appearances, the middle of the lineup isn’t as intimidating as it once was. Didi Gregorius and Brett Gardner have made up for some of that, but Matt Holliday’s loss also has been felt. The Red Sox can’t match the individual firepower the Yankees have, but have four players with 13 or more homers.

Edge: Yankees

On the basepaths: With Gardner, Gregorius and Hicks, the Yankees have some decent baserunners, but they also have slow-footed veterans like Chase Headley and Todd Frazier, in addition to Sanchez and Garrett Cooper, who could start all three games at first. Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts all have double-digit steals.

Edge: Even

In the field

Infield: With Pedroia at second and Bogaerts at short, the Red Sox are solid up the middle, though Rafael Devers, while providing a spark at the plate since his call-up from the minors, still has some work to do at third. Headley and Cooper are serviceable at first, but outside of Gregorius, the Yankees don’t have any other above-average infielders.

Edge: Red Sox

Outfield: The expected return of Hicks will help the Yankees defensively, as well as at the plate, but it’s tough to beat the combination of Betts, Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr.

Edge: Red Sox

Eduardo NunezAP

Bench

Injuries to Holliday and Starlin Castro have limited the Yankees’ bench, with Austin Romine, Cooper, Tyler Wade and Jacoby Ellsbury available. Nunez, Brock Holt and Chris Young should be at John Farrell’s disposal for Boston.

Edge: Red Sox

Rotation

Eduardo Rodriguez has struggled in four games since returning to Boston’s rotation, going 0-1 with a 5.66 ERA, but Drew Pomeranz is 5-0 with a 2.24 ERA in his last 10 outings and Chris Sale has been dominant and has given up just two earned runs in 15 ²/₃ innings against the Yankees. With CC Sabathia questionable with a knee injury, the Yankees will go with Jaime Garcia, who got roughed up in his debut with his new team, Luis Severino and likely Jordan Montgomery on Sunday.

Edge: Red Sox

Bullpen

The addition of Addison Reed from the Mets gives Boston a reliable setup man for closer Craig Kimbrel, but it was the Yankees who really upgraded their bullpen at the trade deadline, with David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle coming over from the White Sox to join Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances and Adam Warren. Joe Girardi has been aggressive in his use of the revamped pen.

Edge: Yankees

John Farrell

Manager

Girardi, with assists from Judge and Severino, helped the Yankees surge to contention in what was expected to be a rebuilding year, but the team has been inconsistent in the second half, even with the major additions. Farrell has had to deal with Price’s feud with the Boston media.

Edge: Even

Intangibles

With Brian Cashman and Dave Dombrowski exchanging compliments — both calling the other team the Golden State Warriors of baseball — it appears the Red Sox have the upper hand. With Price’s issues and injuries and Pablo Sandoval washing out, Boston could have faded. Instead, they have surged ahead in the AL East and look to put an even stronger hold on the division this weekend.

Edge: Red Sox



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