Tonight the New York Yankees will host the Oakland Athletics in the second game of a three-game set, and it will feature something more than a potential Yankees home victory. In addition to the action, this particular affair will also serve as Dellin Betances Figurine Night, the only one of its kind to be held at Yankee Stadium all season long, and the only night dedicated to honoring one of the game’s brightest young relievers.
While the giveaway item will be rare and perhaps even become valuable, considering the Yankees typically only give bobbleheads as opposed to figurines, tickets are averaging $58.66 for this contest, with a get-in price of just $7 on TiqIQ. Going into the season, many figured this promotion at the stadium would rank amongst the most highly demanded Yankees tickets of the year, so the value in going to this game looks remarkable at the moment. There are great deals to be had not just on the secondary market, but also directly through the team on Yankees.com, as tonight offers discounts for students and military members.
Betances has been enjoying another unbelievable All-Star campaign in 2015, owning a 5-1 record, 1.80 ERA, and 0.86 WHIP (as of July 7), not to mention the fact that he has 68 strikeouts in just 42 innings of work for one of the best strikeout-per-inning ratios amongst all Major League relief pitchers. Furthermore, opposing batters are hitting an eye-opening .127 against the hard-throwing right-hander.
As great as he’s been this season, it will be difficult for the Washington Heights native to top his success from a season ago. Aside from making the All-Star team and finishing third in the voting for the AL Rookie of the Year award, Betances set a new franchise record last year for strikeouts by a reliever, as his 135 punch-outs topped the great Mariano Rivera’s previous mark of 130 set back in 1996.
Alongside closer Andrew Miller, the 27-year-old Betances helps comprise one of the top one-two late-inning punches in all of baseball. In the process, he’s helped ease the transition in the bullpen as it regards the post-Rivera era, as well as moving on from David Robertson.
With a revamped bullpen led by Betances and Miller in addition to Alex Rodriguez’s resurgence at the plate this season, the Yanks are leading the AL East with a 44-38 record to begin July. In challenging the struggling Athletics, Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners in their next three series starting Tuesday evening, the Yanks have a golden opportunity to broaden their lead on the Baltimore Orioles and take control of the division.
As long as they can consistently get leads into the latter innings, there’s no question Betances will play a crucial role in helping close the door. Any fan who follows baseball recognizes that Betances is as automatic as any late-inning reliever the sport has to offer.