On Monday night, the Reds welcome the Yankees to Great American Ball Park for a two-game series. Cincinnati comes into the game riding a five-game winning streak. That streak has vaulted the Reds back to the top of the NL Central, and they'll try to keep the good times rolling against the AL East-leading Yankees.
Last Season & What's Ahead
The Yankees finished the 2016 season with an 84-78 record. It marked just the fourth time since 1995 that the team failed to reach the postseason.
The Yankees have opened this season with a 20-9 record. That's currently the best record in baseball. They lead the AL East by half a game over the Orioles. Even with the recent success, Baseball Prospectus projects the Yankees to go 66-67 over the rest of the season. FanGraphs provides a much more optimistic 70-63 projection.
The Yankees Are Going To Be Tired
Last night, the Yankees battled the Cubs in an 18-inning affair for Sunday Night Baseball. The game lasted six hours and five minutes and finally finished early Monday morning. According to Brian Giesenschlag, the Yankees arrived in town at 5:30 AM. That has to be a good thing for the Reds, right?
The Yankees come to town with one of the players tied for the MLB lead in home runs. Aaron Judge stands 6'7, 280 lbs., and he has been absolutely destroying baseballs this season. If you live close to Cincinnati, it might be worth it to go and see him in batting practice if you can.
Here is one example of Judge launching a baseball 448 feet from earlier this season.
Notable New Faces
Fare Thee Well
You can read a full review of New York's offseason here.
The Lineup (2017 stats in parentheses)
Brett Gardner (.263/.360/.465, 5 HR, 20 R, 10 RBI, 5 SB)
Aaron Hicks (.338/.459/.662, 6 HR, 19 R, 15 RBI, 5 SB)
Matt Holliday (.277/.390/.518, 5 HR, 9 R, 18 RBI, 1 SB) or Chris Carter (.204/.267/.315, 1 HR, 6 R, 7 RBI, 0 SB)
Starlin Castro (.355/.395/.545, 6 HR, 21 R, 21 RBI, 0 SB)
Aaron Judge (.317/.410/.772, 13 HR, 28 R, 28 RBI, 1 SB)
Gary Sanchez (.207/.324/.310, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 0 SB)
Didi Gregorius (.275/.310/.325, 0 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI, 1 SB)
Chase Headly (.278/.366/.444, 3 HR, 19 R, 11 RBI, 4 SB)
Greg Bird is on the 10-day DL (ankle)
Jacoby Ellsbury isn't on the DL, but had missed nearly a week before returning for last night's marathon. He's dealing with an elbow injury after running into an outfield wall.
The Pitchers (this series)
Masahiro Tanaka (vs. Rookie Davis) - Monday at 7:10
Tanaka has made six starts in 2017. Over those 36.1 innings, he's tallied a 4.46 ERA. He gave up four runs over six innings of work in his last outing (Toronto).
CC Sabathia (vs. Tim Adleman) - Tuesday at 7:10
The 36-year-old Sabathia has made six starts for the Yankees this season. He has a 5.45 ERA in those 33 innings. Last week, he gave up six runs in four innings against Toronto.
A Reds vs. Yankees Highlight
The Reds take advantage of a tired pitching staff and take both games from New York. I'll set the over/under for Aaron Judge home runs at two.