W2W4: Red Sox at Yankees (July 28)

CC Sabathia Stats to Watch

Sabathia is glad to be back home today, where he has a 2.06 ERA in seven starts, compared to a 4.26 ERA in 10 road starts this season.

He has allowed three earned runs or fewer and struck out at least six batters in each home start this season. This seven-start streak is one shy of the longest to begin a season by a Yankee in the Live Ball era, a mark set by Roger Clemens in 2002.

His slider has been nearly unhittable at Yankee Stadium, primarily because of his ability to locate the pitch down in the zone. Opponents are hitting just .107 in at-bats ending in a slider in the Bronx and have whiffed on half of their swings at the pitch.

Nearly three-quarters of his sliders at home have been thrown in the bottom third of the zone and lower, netting him 38 outs and just four hits allowed. Thirty-one of those 38 outs have been strikeouts.

Key Sabathia Matchups

Carl Crawford has crushed Sabathia since the big fella joined the Yankees in 2009, hitting .364 in 44 at-bats. That is the highest batting average by a lefty that Sabathia has faced more than 15 times during his pinstripe career.

Dustin Pedroia, however, owns a tiny .615 OPS against Sabathia since 2009 and has struck out in 13 of his 36 plate appearance against him. In fact, the last five outs Pedroia has made against Sabathia have been swinging strikeouts.

Jon Lester Stats To Watch

Jon Lester has really struggled in his last three starts, with a 15.32 ERA over 12 1/3 innings. During that span, righties are a ridiculous a 20-for-40 (.500) against him with 11 extra-base hits and 19 RBI.

Lester’s last start at Yankee Stadium didn’t go well. He allowed eight runs in 2 2/3 innings. But he’s also had several good starts in the Bronx. Of his 10 road starts against the Yankees, he’s allowed one run or fewer in five of them.

What does the binder say?

The binder decision for Joe Girardi will be whether to start Ichiro Suzuki versus Lester. Ichiro is hitting only .235 against lefties, but was 2-for-4 in his last start against Lester on May 14. He also homered twice against Lester in a game in Seattle in 2009.

Stat of the Day

Robinson Cano has hit in 13 straight games vs the Red Sox, his third hit streak of at least 13 games against the Yankee rival. No other Yankee in the Live Ball era has more than two such streaks. His career-high hit streak against Boston is 14 games, done from 2009-10.

Cano is 12-for-47 in his career against Lester. His 47 at-bats without a home run against Lester are his most regular-season at bats without a homer against any pitcher.