Just one game separates the (52-25) New York Yankees from sweeping their fifth series of the season. New York will look to finish off the (41-36) Philadelphia Phillies when the two teams face each other in game three of their series today (7:05 PM ET Wednesday)
Game One Recap – NYY 4 PHI 2: Taking the mound for the Phillies was Vince Velasquez, who has had somewhat of an up-and-down season for the team. The 26-year-old Velasquez has a 4.69 ERA on the season and entered the game with a 4-8 record. Velasquez pitched well and had a strong outing in his game one start, going six innings and giving up just two earned runs while also striking out seven batters.
Unfortunately for the Phillies, Jonathan Loaisiga was just a little bit better. The 23-year-old rookie has been off to a great start since cracking the rotation earlier this month. In three starts he’s given up just three runs and has struck out 18. Loaisiga took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and struck out eight en route to picking up his second win of the season. Aroldis Chapman, New York’s closer, picked up his 23rd save as the Yankees won 4-2. The Phillies rallied to score their tallies in the seventh and ninth innings but it wasn’t enough to take the first contest from the Yankees, who were bolstered by a combined 4-for-7 hitting performance from sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. The two had three RBI and scored two of New York’s four runs as well.
It wasn’t a particularly good hitting day for either team as in 63 at bats, the two teams combined managed just 10 hits. The Phillies had just three, scoring their two runs off the bats of Scott Kingery and Maikel Franco, who were a combined 2-for-8 on the day.
Game Two Recap – NYY 6 PHI 0: The Yankees made quick work of the second best team in the NL East in game two when they sent Luis Severino to the mound against the struggling Jake Arrieta. The 24-year-old Severino is having an exceptional third year in the league. He leads the AL in wins with 12, the most recent of which he picked up on Tuesday after he allowed just six hits and struck out nine batters over seven scoreless innings. Severino also ranks in the top three in the AL in innings pitched (3rd), winning percentage (3rd) and ERA (2nd). A top candidate for the AL Cy Young, Severino showed off another spectacular start which was supported by six runs from the offense.
The Yankees scored early and often, getting a run in the first, fourth and fifth and three runs in the third. Gleyber Torres, Didi Gregorius and Aaron Hicks, both of whom had home runs, drove in the runs in a game where only Miguel Andujar was hitless among the starting nine. On the other side of the ball, the Phillies had just six hits total with Kingery and Cesar Hernandez responsible for four of them.
After a pristine month of May which saw him go 2-1 with a 0.90 ERA (just three earned runs allowed in 30 innings), Arrieta’s June struggles continued against New York. The 32-year-old veteran ace gave up nine hits over five innings pitched. He surrendered six runs, although only three of which were earned. An early error set the tone and the Phillies just couldn’t recover.
Game Three Preview & Predictions – (NYY) Luis Cessa vs (PHI) Zach Eflin
The Phillies will be looking to avoid a sweep as they send Zach Eflin to the mound for the third and final game of the series. Eflin is 5-2 on the year with 51 strikeouts and a 3.44 ERA. Those numbers alone are pretty good but it is worth noting that Eflin has essentially been the reverse Arrieta. For as poorly as his teammate has pitched in the month of June, Eflin has pitched exceptionally well. The 24-year-old is a perfect 4-0 in the month, with a 2.28 ERA as well. This will be his first career start against the Yankees.
While Philadelphia will still have to contend with a tough New York lineup, they could very well have the edge on the mound as the Yankees will look to Cessa, who is making his first start of the season, to secure their sweep. Cessa has made four appearances out of the bullpen, where he has pitched six innings, struck out seven and allowed two three hits and two runs. Opponents are hitting just .150 against him in those outings. Cessa has made just 14 starts in his career, doing so with mixed results.
Our Betting Preview’s Yankees vs Phillies Game 3 Prediction & Pick Verdict
The Phillies will be looking to avoid the sweep, which is something they haven’t been victim to at home this season. A + .500 team at Citizen’s Bank Park, Philadelphia is coming off winning their last four series. They won’t win this one, but they are still in a position to at least get out of the series with a victory. That could be important given the team’s schedule doesn’t get any easier from now until the All Star break in mid-July.
The Yankees are continuing to roll and a sweep would be just what they need to place some more distance between them and the Boston Red Sox. The two longtime rivals have been neck-and-neck jockeying for first place all throughout the season. The two teams are set to face each other in a new series starting this Friday.
Leading up to this series and the one the Phillies will play against the Washington Nationals, both teams are certainly going to look to get out of this series on a positive note. Offensively, the Phillies will have to bring more to the table than they have over the first two games. The MLB’s top team in walks, Philadelphia’s batting average and run production has been less than stellar. Coupled with a shaky bullpen, the team has had periods of ebbs and flows, something they are currently experiencing against New York.
Meanwhile, the Yankees are firing on all cylinders including finally getting Stanton going. Judge continues to hit the baseball, leading MLB in all kinds of categories from home runs to WAR and everything else in between. Against the Phillies, Judge has played well and he has been bolstered by the efforts of his teammates.
If you are betting on this game with the US oddsmakers, then these are our preview’s New York Yankees vs Philadelphia Phillies betting predictions for game three: