Series Alert: Yankees set to battle Reds

When & Where To Watch

Tonight: Coverage on YES and the YES App begins at 6:00 p.m. with Yankees Batting Practice Today

Tomorrow: YES and the YES App will have the Postgame Show following action on Prime, where coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Thursday: Coverage on YES and the YES App begins at 12:00 p.m. with Yankees Batting Practice Today

Pinstriped Pulse

The Yankees are starting their final homestand prior to the All-Star break, a six-game stretch featuring three games against Cincinnati followed by three versus Boston. At 54-32, the Yanks have the third-best record in the American League and they are just a few percentage points behind Baltimore for first place in the AL East. Aaron Judge has already secured a starting spot in the All-Star Game by leading the AL in Phase 1 of voting, now Juan Soto is vying for a start in Phase 2, which runs until noon tomorrow. Gleyber Torres has logged three straight multi-hit games after receiving a couple of days off during the last week of June. DJ LeMahieu recorded two extra-base hits during the Yankees’ last series in Toronto following a run of 73 at-bats without one over his first 23 games this season. Ben Rice has an extra-base hit in back-to-back games, the first ones of his career. Trent Grisham had an OPS of .938 in June over 46 plate appearances, a huge jump from his .341 mark in 48 PA from the start of the season through May. Tommy Kahnle has worked 6.1 scoreless innings over his last eight appearances.

How ‘Bout That

What a month Aaron Judge just had. His .409 batting average, 37 RBI, .514 OBP and .864 SLG all led the Majors. He’s now up to 82 RBI for the season, the fourth-most in Yankees history for a player through June, and if, as expected, he wins the AL Player of the Month Award again like he did in May, Judge would become the first Yankee to claim the honor in back-to-back months since Don Mattingly did so in August and September of his 1985 MVP season. With 31 home runs through 86 team games, he is one homer ahead of the pace he was on at the same time in 2022 when he was on his way to 62 and the all-time AL single-season home run crown.

Know The Foe

At 39-45, the Reds are 4.5 games beneath the cutoff in the National League Wild Card picture. Following his impactful debut last season, 22-year-old Elly De La Cruz has continued to electrify baseball, stealing an MLB-high 40 bases. No one else has even reached 30. De La Cruz also has 35 extra-base hits on the season including 14 home runs, which tie him with Jeimer Candelario for the team lead. Jonathan India and Jake Fraley own the top two batting averages on the club at .278 & .274 respectively. Fraley, Stuart Fairchild, Will Benson and Spencer Steer all have double-digit steals along with De La Cruz. Cincinnati’s 2.65 bullpen ERA since May 18 ranks third-best in the Majors behind the Phillies (2.21) and the Guardians (2.54). Closer Alexis Diaz has allowed just three earned runs over his last 15 appearances while converting all 10 of his save chances during that time.

Probable Starters

Luis Gil is going to start the series opener opposite Graham Ashcraft, who allowed six runs to the Pirates last Wednesday in his return to the Majors following a demotion to the Minors three weeks earlier. Carlos Rodón gets the call tomorrow to oppose Andrew Abbott. Marcus Stroman is lined up for the series finale Thursday in a July 4 matinee; Cincinnati will counter with Frankie Montas, an offseason signing for the Reds after he spent a year-plus in the Yankees organization but was limited to only 44 innings, including one postseason appearance, due to shoulder problems.

Major League Cricket Featuring MI New York

YES and Willow by Cricbuzz, which offers more live, streaming and on-demand cricket than any other sports service, have partnered on a deal to air seven matches featuring the defending Major League Cricket champion MI New York this upcoming MLC season. These matches will be available on both YES and the YES App, as well on Willow by Cricbuzz’s TV network and its streaming platform starting at 3:30 p.m. Friday with MI New York’s season-opener pitting the club, led by elite West Indian batter Kieron Pollard, against the 2023 runners-up Seattle Orcas.

Yankees News & Views: Mike Mills

Last Friday, a new edition of Yankees News and Views was released on the YES App! Jack Curry speaks with Mike Mills, a co-founder of R.E.M., a band nominated for 13 Grammy Awards over three decades together. Mills talks about a wide range of additional topics including growing up a passionate sports fan in Georgia, his experiences rooting for the Atlanta Braves in particular and his work with The Baseball Project, a band that creates songs about life using baseball as a metaphor. You can watch the video version exclusively on the YES App, or listen to an audio-only version on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.