The New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs meet up in another interleague contest Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field
New York Yankees at Chicago Cubs
New York was unable to get anything going offensively in dropping the series opener, 3-1, to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field Friday afternoon. “It’s definitely a great stadium,” said Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who was playing on Chicago’s north side for the first time. “Great atmosphere and great crowd.” The Yankees had scored 51 runs while batting .336 with 13 home runs over their last seven home games heading into the road trip. Despite yesterday’s loss, the club still possesses a Major League-best 18-4 record in day games. New York is also 103-63 following a loss the last three seasons.
Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett will be making his 15th start of the season, coming in with a winning 6-5 record and 4.09 ERA. The right-hander lost his second straight start last time out versus Cleveland despite allowing just a single earned run in 7 2/3 innings. Burnett has allowed three earned runs or less in 10 of his 14 starts this year. He owns a 16-10 record with a 3.69 ERA in 34 career interleague starts and has registered an even 8-8 mark and 4.48 ERA in 17 outings against the National League since 2006 when he joined the American League. In four lifetime starts versus the Cubs, he has posted a perfect 3-0 record and 4.21 ERA.
Chicago picked up its fourth win in five games in front of the largest home crowd of the season yesterday. “If you bought a ticket today and weren’t happy with what you saw,” Cubs manager Mike Quade said. “That was fun for all of us.” Players definitely noticed a different energy at the ballpark for a team that’s still 11 games under .500. The Cubs improved to 2-2 in interleague play this season, having already faced the American League East leaders, the Red Sox. The club is still just 100-109 all-time in facing Junior Circuit opponents since 1997. Chicago is 20-31 against right-handed starters this year.
Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster is 5-5 with a 5.48 ERA in 15 starts this season and has seen the club win six of his last seven outings. The right-hander is coming off a brilliant no-decision performance last time out versus the Brewers, tossing seven shutout innings and scattering four hits. Dempster has tallied a 3-1 mark and 2.90 ERA in his last five outings since May 24. In 19 career games (17 starts) against the AL East, the veteran owns a 4-7 record and 5.16 ERA, including an 0-2 mark and 6.88 ERA in three starts against the Yankees.
Bettors will likely back the Cubs due to their 4-0 record in home games, while the Yankees are 1-6 in Burnett’s last seven road games