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Red Sox vs. Yankees lineups: Most important series of the season

The (Yellow) Sox square off with the Yanks to determine the fate of their seasons.

MLB: New York Mets at Boston Red Sox David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox look to extend their seven-game win streak in a potential Wild Card preview versus the New York Yankees. To do so, the Sox will have to defeat Cy Young hopeful Gerrit Cole (15-8, 3.03 ERA).

Boston will kick-off their final regular-season series at Fenway with their playoff hopes on the line. The Red Sox currently hold a two-game lead over the Yankees. To control their own destiny, the Sox will need to win the series. A Yankees sweep would give them the top Wild Card spot. Losing two of three would create a tie (the Red Sox have secured the season series win so a tie would go to Boston).

Alex Cora will call on Nathan Eovaldi (10-8, 3.58 ERA) to stifle the Yankees offense, which ranks 10th in runs scored in the American League. In his last eight starts, Eovaldi has a 2.27 ERA and 64 strikeouts to only 8 walks in 47.2 innings pitched. In that span, he has struck out 33% of batters faced with a .233 batting average against and a 1.03 WHIP. In other words, Eovaldi is rolling right now and the Yankees lineup is nothing to lose sleepover.

Gerrit Cole, however, is much more intimidating. His numbers on the year are fantastic and he will receive plenty of Cy Young votes. Cole is coming off a very rough outing against Cleveland, where he allowed seven earned runs in just 5.2 innings pitched. He has also allowed nine runs (eight earned) at Fenway Park this season in just ten innings. Cole has also never had to square off against the Red Sox City Connect jerseys, which appear to give the team increased power and plate vision.

The Red Sox lineup is pretty standard tonight. The only slight shakeup is that Kyle Schwarber is going to be playing first base. Bobby Dalbec will not start tonight to avoid a brutal right on right pitching matchup. Dalbec does have 16 appearances in games he did not start, there is a good chance we could see him at some point tonight.

The lineup appears to be a potential preview of the Wild Card lineup Alex Cora will deploy against a right-handed pitcher. The only adjustment would be Christian Arroyo filling in for José Iglesias, who is not postseason eligible.

If the Yankees hold on, we will see Gerrit Cole again. The Blue Jays would likely start left-handed pitcher Robby Ray. In that scenario, Verdugo could be the odd man out, with Schwarber and Martinez needing to be in the lineup.

Game 154 Red Sox vs. Yankees

Lineup spot Yankees Red Sox
Lineup spot Yankees Red Sox
1 DJ LeMahieu, 3B Kiké Hernández, CF
2 Anthony Rizzo, 1B Kyle Schwarber, 1B
3 Aaron Judge, RF Xander Bogaerts, SS
4 Giancarlo Stanton, DH Rafael Devers, 3B
5 Joey Gallo, LF J.D. Martinez, DH
6 Gleybor Torres, 2B Alex Verdugo, LF
7 Gio Urshela, SS Hunter Renfroe, RF
8 Brett Gardner CF Christian Vázquez, C
9 Kyle Higashioka, C José Iglesias, 2B
SP Gerrit Cole, RHP Nathan Eovaldi, RHP