Cue the Star Wars music, the Evil Empire is coming to town.
The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will meet for the first time of the 2016 season on Friday night, the first of a three-game set at Boston’s Fenway Park.
It’s been a bit of a bumpy road for both teams in the early stages of the season, but with still over 140 games remaining, there’s plenty of time to get back on the right track. Currently, the Red Sox sit in second place in the AL East with a 12-10 record, while the Yankees sit in last place in the division at 8-12.
A .278 team batting average, good for second in the majors, has won the Red Sox a lot of games this season, but the team’s pitching has been its downfall. The pitching staff has a big chance against a Yankees team this weekend that has batted just .237 as a team so far this season, 22nd in the majors, and averages just 3.6 runs per game, 24th in the majors.
The Red Sox will send Henry Owens (0-0, 8.10 ERA) to the mound in the first game of the series on Friday night, matched up against New York’s Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 2.92 ERA). Saturday’s game two will feature Boston’s Rick Porcello (4-0, 3.51) against Michael Pineda (1-2, 6.95), and Sunday, David Price (3-0, 5.76) will get his first taste of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry when he squares off against Nathan Eovaldi (1-2, 4.38).
The Yankees won the 2015 season series over the Red Sox for the second consecutive year, beating Boston in 11 of the 19 meetings between the rivals. One of Boston’s victories came on April 10 at Yankee Stadium, a 6-5 victory in 19 innings. The game was the longest, time-wise, in Red Sox history, at 6 hours, 47 minutes, yet in terms of innings, was the second longest in the history of the rivalry, as the Red Sox and Yankees dueled for 20 innings in 1967, a game won by the Yankees.