The Yankees will finally open up at the big ballpark in the Bronx today against the Orioles. It should prove to be a very interesting week in the Bronx as the Red Sox come to town for a 4-game series beginning Thursday.
Orioles @ Yankees
Who’s Hot?: Matt Wieters and Steve Lombardozi both got off to a nice start this season. For a team that has struggled early in this young season, both Wieters and Lombardozi have been swinging a hot bat. On the Yankees’ side, not many players have really stood out so far. However, after a somewhat slow start for Jacoby Ellsbury, he has looked much better at the plate picking up hit after hit since starting 0-for-7.
Who’s Not?: The typical stars of the Orioles haven’t really been hitting the cover off the ball. Chris Davis and Adam Jones who many see as the heart of the team have not done much thus far. This could be a reason for the slow start for the Orioles. Besides a couple of home runs by Nelson Cruz, he too has struggled to hit. Once these guys get into a groove and start to come around, the team should play much better baseball but hopefully it won’t be until after they leave the Bronx.
*What To Watch For*
Nick Markakis (7-for-19) and Matt Wieters (6-for-15) are the only two Orioles that have good numbers against Kuroda. However, the pitcher has the number of J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones. The two have combined for eight hits in 39 at-bats with just one homer and one RBI against the right-hander.
Look for Nova to have some trouble against the Orioles. Markakis, Hardy, Wieters, Davis, and Cruz all hit him very well, all with a large sample size also. Matt Wieters especially has had good numbers against Nova going 11-for-29 with four home runs and seven RBI. Chris Davis has three homers and nine RBI with eight hits in just 23 tries against the 27-year-old.
Masahiro Tanaka will start the third game of the series for the Yankees. He pitched very well in his first start in Toronto but he may have some nerves pitching in front of the home crowd for the first time. However, it should be fun to watch.
Red Sox @ Yankees
John Lackey Saturday, April 12th: 1:05 pm Hiroki Kuroda
Felix Doubront Sunday, April 13th: 8:05 pm Ivan Nova
Who’s Hot?: It seems like Dustin Pedroia gets off to a very good start every year. This year is no different as Pedroia continues to be pesky at the plate. Along with the second baseman, David Ortiz and Xander Bogaerts have also been seeing the ball well early. Although Pedroia and Bogaerts have yet to drive in any runs, Big Papi continues to age gracefully having hit a home run and driving in three runs already.
Who’s Not?: Jonny Gomes has scuffled mightily since the season began. He only has a few hits on the early season and although its early, Gomes hasn’t showed his power stroke too much either. He is still looking to get his first RBI of the year. Daniel Nava has also looked lost at the plate. Nava has also not hit a home run yet and has not driven in any runs. On top of that, he has only a couple hits in over twenty at-bats.
*What To Watch For*
There’s not much history between Michael Pineda and the Red Sox. In fact, the only guys with a history are Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia, A.J. Pierzynski, and David Ortiz. All of these players combined are only 2-for-10 with no homers or RBI aginst the former Mariner.
David Ortiz does not hit Sabathia well at all as he is only 14-for-61 (.230) with only two home runs and six RBI. Dustin Pedroia on the other hand, tends to see the ball well from Sabathia going 16-for-53 (.302) against the left-hander. Don’t be surprised if David Ross starts at catcher against Sabathia over Pierzynski. Ross is hitting.333 in 18 at-bats while Pierzynski is hitting just .222 in 27 at-bats against the Yankees’ ace.
Pedroia, Nava, and Ortiz all have very good numbers against Kuroda. Pedroia is 10-for-31 (.323), Nava is 8-for-23 (.348) and Oritz owns the Japanese pitcher going 10-for-17 (.588) against him. Pedroia and Ortiz also both have a homer and a few RBI to go along with those numbers. However, Jonny Gomes and Pierzynski struggle against Kuroda. Each hits well under .200 when he’s on the mound.
Ivan Nova takes the hill in the finale and he may have some trouble against none other than David Ortiz. Ortiz is 6-for-16 (.375) with one home run and four RBI. Nava also hits Nova well, picking up four hits in ten at-bats. Although Mike Carp and Mike Napoli don’t have too much experience against Nova, the numbers still are not pretty as the two have gone a combined 2-for-10 when Nova toes the rubber.