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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Yankees series preview

The Cubs have never won a meaningful game in Yankee Stadium, old or new. Will that change this weekend?

A pair of former Cubs who went on to success in New York
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

This isn’t shaping up to be a good weekend for the Cubs, who have never won a game against the Yankees in New York. More on that below.

Hey, the Cubs are 2-4 this month and the Yankees are 3-4. That’s close, right?

For more on the Yankees, here’s Andrew Mearns, managing editor of our SB Nation Yankees site Pinstripe Alley.

The Yankees entered 2023 with the expectation to repeat as AL East champions and contend for another World Series crown. But here we are in mid-July, and the team is several games back of the Rays, battling Baltimore for second place, and barely clinging on to a Wild Card spot with Toronto hot on their heels.

The biggest problem has been the same one that plagued the Yankees during their underwhelming second half in 2022: the offense. Hal Steinbrenner obviously dropped serious coin in retaining the services of superstar Aaron Judge after his 62-homer season, but the void in left field remained and the Yankees counted on their returning veterans to return to at least the form that led to a scalding-hot start last year. Instead, DJ LeMahieu has been terrible while showing his age, former Cubbies fan favorite Anthony Rizzo has significantly cooled off after a strong April-May, Giancarlo Stanton has been injured and ineffective, and the less said about Josh Donaldson, the better. Catcher Jose Trevino has turned back into a pumpkin at bat after an All-Star first half in 2022. Late-season standout Oswaldo Cabrera fell flat on his face in left field and is no longer starting; the long-tenured Aaron Hicks saw one last look in left before getting DFA’d with over two years left on his regrettable extension.

Judge’s bat has looked as hot as it did in 2022, with 19 homers in 49 games before a weird collision with concrete in the Dodger Stadium bullpen fence landed him on the IL a month ago. There is no specific timetable for his return, and the lineup has looked even more anemic without him in there. As of Friday morning, their 87 wRC+ over the past 30 days ranks 25th among the 30 MLB teams. Sometimes, they’ll get good games from steady contributors like Harrison Bader or Gleyber Torres, or even one of the surprising fill-ins, like Jake Bauers or Billy McKinney. Rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe (one of the game’s top prospects prior to 2023) has looked better recently too after a paltry 67 wRC+ in his first 67 career games. However, if a few of those guys happen to be in a funk that day, then it’s generally Game Over. The Yankees desperately need Judge back soon and at least one of those veterans to come back to life if they have serious aspirations of a late-October run.

The Yankees are honestly being kept afloat right now by their men on the mound. It hasn’t been a smooth road for them either, as big offseason addition Carlos Rodón is only making his season debut on Friday after spending months on the IL with a chronic back injury. Nestor Cortes was a shadow of his 2022 All-Star form, and he’s been out since early June with a shoulder injury as well. The Yankees’ pitching factory has done a terrific job though, with typically great work from ace Gerrit Cole combining with a lockdown bullpen to keep New York in most ballgames. Each of Luis Severino, Domingo Germán, and Clarke Schmidt have had topsy-turvy seasons in the rotation, but as long as they can put in five or six innings of modest results, the relief corps can take it from there. Clay Holmes has fully rebounded from a rocky April and has only allowed two runs total in his last 24 games. Michael King is a useful multi-inning weapon, and each of Ron Marinaccio, Wandy Peralta, and the recently-returned Tommy Kahnle are capable of coming in and squelching rallies. Even 2023 non-roster invitees Ian Hamilton and Nick Ramirez have done yeoman’s work out in the ‘pen.

This Yankees ballclub is thus still solid as a whole, but eminently beatable. They recently went 3-3 on a road trip to two last-place teams in Oakland and St. Louis and got swept out of Fenway Park in mid-June. Keep the veterans in the lineup scuffling and you’ll definitely be in a good position to win.

Fun facts

Since 1876, the Cubs have played games at the home parks of 51 teams. They won only one of seven when visiting the Hartford Dark Blues in 1877. They have won one of five in their two trips to Tampa Bay.

They have won at least twice against 48 other teams in their ballparks.

But they are 0 for 8 at New York against the Yankees in the regular season — and 0 for 4 in the World Series. The losses in the postseason and the first three in regular-season play, in 2005, came at the original House That Ruth Built. The Cubs were outscored in those games, 53-22.

At the current Stadium, they have been outscored, 33-5. They lost 3-0 and 2-0 in a 2014 doubleheader, then 2-1, 8-0 and 18-4 last year. So, in all 12 games, the Cubs have given up 86 runs, 7.2 per game, and have scored only 27, 2.3 per game.


The Yankees have hit 19 home runs (15 regular season) to the Cubs’ six (four regular season). The Cubs’ homers were hit by Joe Marty and Ken O’Dea (1938 World Series), Jeromy Burnitz and Jason Dubois (2005) and Ian Happ and Jason Heyward (2022) — Heyward’s final home run as a Cub. Five Yankees homered twice against the Cubs, including Derek Jeter and Aaron Judge. The nine who hit one homer include Lou Gehrig and Anthony Rizzo.

(Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)

Probable pitching matchups

Friday: Jameson Taillon, RHP (2-6, 6.93 ERA, 1.524 WHIP, 5.18 FIP) vs. Carlos Rodón, LHP (2023 season debut)

Saturday: Drew Smyly, LHP (7-5, 4.10 ERA, 1.311 WHIP, 4.55 FIP) vs. Gerrit Cole, RHP (8-2, 2.79 ERA, 1.140 WHIP, 3.39 FIP)

Sunday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (3-3, 2.64 ERA, 0.944 WHIP, 3.46 FIP) vs. Domingo Germán, RHP (5-5, 4.52 ERA, 1.097 WHIP, 4.68 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Friday: 6:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Saturday: 12:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Yankees market territories)

Sunday: 12:35 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Yankees market territories)


As noted above, the Cubs have never won a regular-season or postseason game against the Yankees in New York.

They will end that streak here, but win just one of the three.

Up next

The All-Star break! The Cubs and the other 29 teams take four days off for the Midsummer Classic and associated activities. Justin Steele, Marcus Stroman and Dansby Swanson will represent the Cubs on the N.L. All-Star team, but at this writing it is uncertain which of the three will go to Seattle (Stroman has already said he might not). After the break, the Cubs host the Boston Red Sox for a three-game series at Wrigley Field that begins with a rare Friday night game a week from today, July 14.


How many games will the Cubs win against the Yankees?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    (27 votes)
  • 24%
    (51 votes)
  • 39%
    (83 votes)
  • 24%
    (51 votes)
212 votes total Vote Now