Yankees Game Preview: Tanaka Looks To Take Game 1 Against Sox

  • Yankees 77-68
  • Red Sox 81-64
  • Boston, Fenway Park
  • 82 degrees and sunny.

The Yankees turn to their ace Masahiro Tanaka (13-4 3.04ERA) in today’s game against the Red Sox. Tanaka has been brilliant in his last seven starts, and the Yankees have backed him up by winning his last seven starts. While posting an ERA below 2 during that stretch.

Opposing Tanaka will be Eduardo Rodriguez (2-7 4.70ERA) who has always found success against the Yankees. The lefty has posted a 1.64 ERA against the Yankees over 6 career starts, so today’s game is far from a pitching mismatch.

Making his season debut for the Yankees today will be Billy Butler at DH. Though there were many mixed feelings on his signing Butler is a good right handed bat and he can be released at any point without any repercussions, so it’s a total win-win situation.

Yankees Line Up:

  1. Gardner LF
  2. Ellsbury CF
  3. Sanchez C
  4. Castro 2B
  5. Butler DH
  6. Gregorius SS
  7. Headley 3B
  8. Refsnyder RF
  9. Austin 1B

My Take On Line Up:

This is the best line up you can put together today in my opinion. I like that Girardi has stuck with Austin even through his struggles. He has more potential at this point in the season than Tex does. It should be interesting to see how Billy Butler does today in his Yankee debut.

Red Sox Line Up:

  1. Pedroia 2B
  2. Boagerts SS
  3. Ortiz DH
  4. Betts RF
  5. Rameriz 1B
  6. Shaw 3B
  7. Leon C
  8. Bradley Jr CF
  9. Benintendi LF

My Take On The Red Sox Line Up:

Obviously the Red Sox have a very powerful line-up and they have used that to win games this year; however, Boagerts has been bad lately. He is batting just .200 over his last 15 games and .230 over the last month. He has struggled lately, and that could help the Yankees break up a strong middle of the Red Sox line up.

Player Of The Game Tonight: Billy Butler

The way that Butler’s season went down with the Athletics I imagine left a sour taste in his mouth. He is a known Red Sox killer and he helped the Royals down the stretch to the World Series. Look for Butler to continue killing the Sox today and get some offense going for the Yankees.

My Take On Tonight’s Game:

The Tigers have already lost today 5-1 that means with a Yankee win tonight they could be in a 3 way tie with Seattle, and Detroit. Toronto is only two games ahead and they do play tonight. The Yankees could pull within one game of the second wild card tonight with a Toronto loss and a Yankee win. They also would pull within 3 of the division.

The Yankees have a chance to make a big impression this weekend, and proves to be the most crucial series of the year. If the Yankees can atleast take 3 out of 4 they could be just 2 out of the division. If they were to pull off the miraculous sweep they could possibly be tied for the division and most likely in the lead for a playoff spot.

The Yankees have nothing to fear during this series. All the pressure is on Boston who was the pre-season favorite to win the division, and also carrying the weight of Ortiz and his final season on their shoulders. The Yankees have nothing to lose as they have rebuilt and maintained the same winning attitude. The pitching match-ups this week are not bad, but the Yankee pitching will need to step up in bit situations. 

If the Yankees can win Tanaka and Sabathia’s start. Then all you need to do is split between Cessa and Mitchell. Three out of four would prove the Yankees to be in a good position for the post season. Especially with big games against teams ahead of them coming. 

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