Opening Day Yankees Preview: New York Yankees Vs. Tampa Bay

  • Game Time: 1:10PM EST
  • Tropicana Park 

Welcome back to Yankee baseball. After the long wait the New York Yankees are ready to jump into the 2017 season with a much different and more exciting roster than in 2017.

Our pitching match up today will be Masahiro Tanaka for the visting Yankees against Chris Archer of Tampa Bay.

Last season Tanaka was perfect against the Rays posting a 4-0 record with a 2.88ERA against the Rays. He will hope to carry that success over into today’s game.

Meanwhile, Chris Archer will be looking to return to ace form after having a somewhat down year last year posting his highest ERA of his career. Against the Yankees last year Archer was winless at 0-3 with a 3.86ERA. 

Today’s starting line ups will look like this:

For The New York Yankees,

  1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
  2. Gary Sanchez (R) C
  3. Greg Bird (L) 1B
  4. Matt Holliday (R) DH
  5. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
  6. Starlin Castro (R) 2B
  7. Chase Headley (S) 3B
  8. Aaron Judge (R) RF
  9. Ronald Torreyes (R) SS

Analysis:

This is the Yankee line up that Girardi promised a few days ago, so there are no real surprises here. Even though we knew it was coming, the thought of Ellsbury in the 5 hole is troublesome to the eye. The thought of Ellsbury coming up in crucial RBI situations is enough to make you cringe, or is it? Last season Ellsbury hit .298 with runners in scoring position with a .372 on base percentage. He also hit .545 with the bases loaded and .304 with runners on first and second. He also batted an impressive .271 with runners on and 2 outs. 

While I am still uncomfortable with the thought of Ellsbury batting in the 5 hole. You can see from the numbers what Girardi is thinking and he could possibly thrive in his new role. It should be interesting to watch.

For The Tampa Bay Rays,

  1. Chris Dickerson (L) DH
  2. Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF
  3. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
  4. Brad Miller (L) 2B
  5. Steven Souza Jr. (R) RF
  6. Logan Morrison (L) 1B
  7. Tim Beckham (R) SS
  8. Michael Smith (L) LF
  9. Daniel Norris (R) C

Analysis:

No real surprises here either. The Rays come into this game with 5 left handed hitters, and 3 of the first 4 batters hitting from the left side; however, lefties didn’t favor much better than righties did against Tanaka last year. Lefties batted just .237 off of Tanaka as compared to .235 from the righties, though lefties did slug nearly 40 points higher than righties did off the Yankee ace.

Todays Player To Watch: 

Aaron Judge- we have seen the greatness that could become of Greg Bird and Gary Sanchez. We have seen Matt Holliday and others succeed and we know what they could be potentially capable of, but something we never truly got to see was what type of potential Aaron Judge could possibly have for the Yankees. After shortening his stride and his swing the big slugger cut down on strike outs in the spring dramatically and drove the ball to all sides of the field. Look for Aaron Judge to start the season off with a BOOM and give Yankee fans something else to look forward to in 2017.

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