Steve Merril’s Sunday Night MLB Preview (Yankees @ Red Sox)

<p>Baseball’s best rivalry takes center stage on Sunday Night when the Red Sox host the Yankees.</p>


<p>Boston decided to make a pitching change for this game as Jon Lester was the original starter.  He will now pitch on Monday against TampaBay.  Ryan Dempster is now the scheduled starter and he enters with a mediocre 4.24 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in his 19 games this season.  Dempster’s biggest problem has been giving up the long ball as he allows 1.63 home runs per nine innings which is the worst percentage among Boston‘s five regular starting pitchers this season.</p>


<p>CC Sabathia is 9-8 with a 4.07 ERA for the Yankees.  He needs to improve off his last start when he allowed 8 runs and eight hits in four innings pitched at home against the Twins.  He has allowed 4 runs or more in three of his last five road starts.  Sabathia is seeing the Red Sox for the third time and he owns a win and a loss against them.  In the win, the lefty struck out ten while walking none in just over seven innings.  He had different results in the loss back on April 1st when he gave up 4 runs and eight hits in just five innings.  Sabathia’s last start in Boston came on August 30, 2011 when he struck out ten batters in six innings of work.</p>

<p><b>INJURY REPORT</p></b>

<p>The Yankees’ injury report got a little longer after Zoilo Almonte left Friday’s game with a sprained ankle.  He joins Derek Jeter, Jayson Nix, Kevin Youkilis, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Francisco Cervelli who are New York hitters that are unavailable.  A-Rod hopes to return on Monday, while Youkilis, Granderson and Jeter are still a little bit away from helping the team.  Boston had some injury news on Friday as well with Shane Victorino straining a hamstring.  The team also put Andrew Bailey on the DL with a shoulder injury that most likely will end his season.  The bullpen is already without Andrew Miller and Joel Hanrahan who are each out for the season.  Clay Buchholz has been out awhile with a neck strain and inflammation.</p>

<b><p>TRENDS</p></b> <p>Yankees 11-4 in Sabathia’s last 15 Sunday starts</p> <p>Sabathia 21-6-1 Over in his last 28 Sunday starts</p> <p>Red Sox 4-1 in Dempster’s last 5 home starts</p> <p>Dempster 5-1 Under in his last 6 starts vs. AL East</p>

<p><b>HITTERS TO WATCH</p></b>

<p>David Ortiz 11-for-52 vs. Sabathia</p> <p>Dustin Pedroia 13-for-43 vs. Sabathia</p> <p>Robinson Cano 1-for-6 vs. Dempster</p> <p>Vernon Wells 3-for-9 vs. Dempster</p>

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