The Sox couldn’t get us off the schnide on Thursday. But the only difference between yesterday’s loss and the three straight prior was that Boston never came close to winning at home with their ace on the hill. The Blue Jays jumped out to a quick first inning lead and never looked back. Now the losing streak is at four and the sense of urgency only picks up.
Meanwhile, the Yankees continue their tour of Chicago. And after splitting the short, two-game series in Wrigley Field, the Yanks dropped their first game against the American League team from Chicago. Chris Sale bounced back off the disabled list to shut the Bronx Bombers down on Thursday, but there’s a good chance New York evens the series up on Friday. And that’s exactly where I’m going with today’s free play.
The Yankees will trot Hiroki Kuroda out to the mound in game two of this weekend’s series with the White Sox. And the veteran from Japan should have all the opportunity in the world to go out and pitch well against a weakened Chicago lineup. Of course, Cuban sensation Jose Abreu remains out. And that takes a large punch out of the Sox’s lineup. Enter Paul Konerko and Hiroki Kuroda should put up a large chunk of strikeouts against a lineup that has a tendency to swing through a lot of pitches. The White Sox do have some pop between Konerko, Dunn and Dayan Viceido. But while Kuroda does give up the long ball from time to time, what he doesn’t do is walk batters. And that’s the key to beating a White Sox team that struggles to string hits together. If Kuroda avoids the walks and limits Chicago to solo home runs, he should be able to go deep into this game and give his team a great shot to win – especially with his offense getting a crack at journey man Hector Noesi.
Noesi has bounced around this season and has already pitched with Seattle, Texas and Chicago. And there’s pretty good reason for his inability to stay in a rotation. Noesi is boasting a WHIP over 1.70 this season and hasn’t really been effective at any point in his career. The Yankees’ lineup isn’t what it’s been in the past with some injuries and younger players seeing more time. But let’s not kid ourselves, the Yankees will score against Noesi. And if they don’t, there’s something to really worry about. Hector Noesi isn’t good. Hiroki Kuroda is. The Yankees will win this game. And we need a win!
Free Pick: New York (-128)
2014 YTD: 17-10 +4.81