After an embarrassing start to their second half, the New York Yankees will be fighting to stay afloat in the AL playoff picture ahead of the trade deadline when they welcome the Kansas City Royals to town for a weekend series. First pitch of Friday’s opener is set for 7:05 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, and the game will air on Bally Sports Kansas City in the Royals market and on the YES Network in the Yankees market. Rookie Alec Marsh (0-3, 5.40 ERA) will get the start for K.C., while New York gives the ball to righty Clarke Schmidt (5-6, 4.31).
It’s another lost year in Kansas City, as the Royals enter play on Friday with the second-worst record and run differential in all of baseball. The offense has gone into the tank since Vinnie Pasquantino’s season-ending injury: Bobby Witt Jr. appears primed for a huge second half, but he’s currently the only Royals regular with an OPS at or above league-average — K.C. has the posted the third-lowest team OPS in the Majors since July 1. The pitching, comparably hasn’t been that bad — Marsh in particular has been a pleasant surprise, coming off a start in which he struck out 11 in six innings of two-run ball against the Tampa Bay Rays — but young arms like Daniel Lynch and Brady Singer haven’t taken the steps forward that the Royals need to get out of this interminable rebuild.
The 2023 season is officially on life support for the Yankees, and even that may be a bit generous. This week’s sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels dropped New York to 50-47, dead last in the AL East and four games back of the final AL Wild Card spot. They’ve gone 16-27 in nearly two months without Aaron Judge, with an offense that ranks 27th in baseball in team wRC+ since June 1. The pitching had kept the Yankees afloat for a while, but the bullpen is starting to crack under that strain while Carlos Rodon and Luis Severino are pitching well below expectations. With Nestor Cortes still out with a shoulder injury, there’s not much to rely on past Gerrit Cole — especially not with Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, DJ LeMahieu and Co. also underachieving.
The Yankees enter as heavy -205 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Royals +175 underdogs. The run total is set at 8.5.
Royals vs. Yankees
Pitchers: Alec Marsh vs. Clarke Schmidt
First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
Royals local broadcast: Bally Sports Kansas City
Yankees local broadcast: YES Network
Live stream: MLB.tv (subscription)
Moneyline odds: Yankees -205, Royals +175
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