May 23, 2018: Yankees at Rangers Fantasy Preview

Can anyone stop the New York Yankees? The AL East leaders are slicing through their opponents and seem to be well on their way to a deep playoff run. They conclude a three-game set with the Texas Rangers in Arlington on Thursday evening.

Pitching matchup

Doug Fister (1-4, 3.43) was great his last time out, when he tossed seven scoreless innings, struck out four and didn’t allow a walk. However, it came against the White Sox, who currently own the worst record in baseball due in large part to an inability to score runs. Fister will be working on an extra day of rest, though. He’s done this twice already this season with positive effects. In those games, he has a 2.08 ERA and opposing hitters have batted just .213/.315/.404 against him.

CC Sabathia suffered his first loss of the season last week against the Royals. He wasn’t awful, but the 37-year-old lacked precision. Over five innings, Sabathia allowed two runs on four hits, four walks and five strikeouts. Rangers Ballpark has been a house of horrors for the southpaw. In 10 career starts, he has a 4.99 ERA and has racked up 28 walks and just 47 strikeouts in 61.1 innings pitched

Better play: Fister. While Sabathia has had the better season overall, Fister has been more consistent and more impressive lately. That Yankee lineup is scary, but the Texas righty has done well against some other heavy-hitting teams already this year.

Choooooooooooooooooooo!

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Who should start

  • Shin-soo Choo is on fire and he has had a lot of success against Sabathia. Across 21 at-bats, Choo has six hits, including a double, a home run, a walk and two strikeouts.
  • Aaron Hicks has started to hit a bit over the last week while continuing to get on base at a solid enough clip. He also has a triple in three trips to the plate against Fister.

Who should sit

  • Didi Gregorius is in the midst of a massive slump, and it may continue here. He has seen some time on the bench recently in favor of Ronald Torreyes anyway and Gregorius’ 1-for-6 career line against Fister doesn’t inspire much confidence.
  • Nomar Mazara doesn’t have a hit off of Sabathia in three career at-bats, but that’s a small sample size. Even still, he has struggled a tad against left-handed pitching (.259/.317/.500)

Prediction

Yankees win. Aaron Boone has not been scared to pull Sabathia out of a game early and hand the ball to a solid Yankee bullpen. Should the starter struggle, New York can lean on the best lineup in baseball and a steady core of relievers.

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