W2W4: Yankees at Red Sox

Ivan Nova Stats to Watch

Nova is coming off a disappointing start against the Rays (6 R, 6 IP) during which he had a lot of trouble getting righties out. They went 6-for-14 against him, after he had held righties to a .122 average (5-for-41) in his previous three starts combined.

Nova matched his season high with 12 groundballs against the Rays, but got little help from his defense, which converted only eight of those into outs. Opponents had zero hits on 17 groundballs over his previous two starts before last Tuesday.

Nova pitched well in his lone start against the Red Sox this season on April 20 (2 R, 6 IP), but before that had allowed four runs in each of his first three career starts versus Boston.

In that April outing, he was hittable most of the game, but dominated the Red Sox when pitching from the stretch. They went 6-for-13 with the bases empty against Nova, but had just one hit in 11 at-bats with runners on base.

Could Nova be the one to slow down the red-hot Adrian Gonzalez, who is riding a career-high 18-game hit streak? Gonzalez has zero hits and three strikeouts in eight at-bats against Nova. The only other active pitcher that Gonzalez has more at-bats against without a hit against is Rafael Soriano (0-for-9).

Jon Lester Stats To Watch

In his last seven starts, Lester has 47 strikeouts, six walks, and four home runs allowed over 47 innings. But his ERA during that span is 3.83m due to a .348 opponents batting average on balls in play.

The high BABIP is due to a few more flyball hits than the average pitcher would yield (13 hits allowed on 40 flyballs).

The Red Sox have lost Lester’s last three starts against the Yankees, after winning the five prior to that. He’s 8-3 with a 4.15 ERA in his career against the Yanks.

Alex Rodriguez is a .176 career hitter in 34 at-bats against Lester.

Robinson Cano has no home runs in 45 at-bats against Lester. That’s his most regular-season at-bats against a pitcher without hitting one.

Power Time

The Yankees enter the final game before the All-Star break with 133 home runs. That’s one shy of the team record for most home runs prior to the break, 134, set in 2002.

The Yankees have scored at least four runs in 11 straight games against the Red Sox. If they can do it again Sunday night, they'll match the second-longest such streak against their rival in the Live Ball Era.

Jeter Meter

Derek Jeter is 12-for-36 over the last three seasons against Lester, with at least one hit in each of the last four games against him. Lester had trouble throwing the ball by Jeter last season. Jeter took 29 swings against him last season, but only missed twice, including once on 15 swings against Lester’s fastball.

Keeping up with Andruw Jones

Jones should get another start, with him being so hot and a left-handed pitcher on the mound. Jones had hit three home runs in 65 at-bats against lefties, but now has four home runs in his last 19. He’s been on a good run recently making contact against lefties, not whiffing in any of those last 19 turns.

Jones, who tied Lou Gehrig and Dave Kingman on the all-time multi-homer-game list with his 43rd on Saturday, now has 430 career homers. His next would tie Cal Ripken Jr. for 41st all-time.