Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees' Week Preview: Week Of April 14th

The Yankees will finally get a much needed off day on Monday. Their first of the year. On Tuesday, the Yankees will begin the final series of the homestand, a 2-game series,  before heading to Tampa Bay to face the Rays for the first time this year.

Although there isn’t really a break when facing the great Rays’ pitching but Alex Cobb, who was supposed pitch the first game of the series against the Yankees, and Matt Moore are injured. On top of that,  David Price is not slated to pitch in the series so things are not looking too bad for the Bronx Bombers. The Rays rotation has really taken a hit this year.                                    

 

                                     Probable Pitching Match-ups

        Cubs                                            @                                              Yankees

Jason Hammel          Tuesday, April 15th:  7:05 pm               Masahiro Tanaka

  Travis Wood          Wednesday, April 16th: 7:05 pm              Michael Pineda

    

Who’s Hot?: Brian McCann has struggled to start the season but has hit the ball with authority over the last week or so. He also hit a couple home runs against the Red Sox. Look for him to stay hot. For the Cubs, Emilio Bonifacio may be the hottest hitter on the planet raking in multi-hit games left and right. Also watch out for Anthony Rizzo. He has really picked it up the last week, hitting over .400 in the last six games.

Who’s Not?: Ryan Kalish and Junior Lake have looked lost at the plate in the last week. Each have played six games and neither of them has done much hitting. Ryan Kalish has just a few hits in almost 20 at-bats. Junior Lake has not impressed at the plate either. Although he does have a couple homers on the week, he’s hitting under .200.

                                                  *What To Watch For*

There isn’t any history between these Cubs’ hitters and Yankees’ pitchers besides Ryan Sweeney (0-for-1 vs. Pineda). However, some Yankees’ hitters have seen the Cubs’ two probable pitchers. The Yankees may have some trouble with Jason Hammel. Nine Yankees have a history against him and none of them are hitting higher than .286. In fact, seven of the nine are hitting .256 or lower against the right-hander.

Travis Wood will start the second game against the Yankees. The only player to have a significant amount of at-bats against him is Carlos Beltran. He is a 6-or-20 (.300) career hitter when facing Wood. The only other two to see him are Alfonso Soriano and Kelly Johnson who are a combined 2-for-14 against the lefty.

 

                                      Probable Pitching Match-ups

       Yankees                                         @                                            Rays

   C.C. Sabathia            Thursday, April 17th: 7:10 pm             Erik Bedard 

   Hiroki Kuroda              Friday, April 18th: 7:10 pm              Cesar Ramos  

      Ivan Nova                Saturday, April 19th: 7:10  pm            Chris Archer     

 Masahiro Tanaka         Sunday, April 20th: 1:40 pm             Jake Odorizzi    

 

 

Who’s Hot?: Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist are the only Rays’ players who have done much over the last week. Both have averages hovering around .300 for the week. The hottest pitcher for the Rays was suppose to face the Yankees in the first game of the series, Alex Cobb. He is coming off of 14 straight scoreless innings. Unfortunately for the Rays, news surfaced Sunday that Cobb was heading to the DL with a left oblique strain. Erik Bedard will take Cobb’s spot in the rotation.

Who’s Not?:  In the last seven games, pretty much every Rays position player has struggled. Besides Longoria and Zobrist, there isn’t one Rays player hitting over .250 in the last week. Of course, the Rays offense shouldn’t stay like that, but Yankees’ pitchers may be catching the club at the right time.

                                                  *What To Watch For*

Sabathia will toe the rubber in the first game and he has his work cut out for him especially against Longoria. Longoria owns Sabathia going 21-for-53 or a .396 average against him. Sean Rodriguez and Yunel Escobar also hit him very well. Against the Yankees’ ace, Rodriguez is 13-for-42 (.310) while Escobar is 11-for-36 (.306).

The second start goes to Hiroki Kuroda, who for the most part has tamed the Rays in his time with the Yankees. Only two hitters on the Rays have hit him well and they are Ben Zobrist and Matt Joyce. Both of which have only a small sample size against the 39-year-old. Zobrist is 5-for-12 (.417) and Joyce is 5-for-14 (.357) against the Japanese pitcher. Other than those two, Kuroda should be alright.

Ivan Nova has not been good this year in two starts, and bounced back nicely in a series finale victory against the Red Sox, and he hopes to continue showing progress against the Rays. He’ll have a good chance of doing just that, because he pitches very well against them. There are six Rays hitters with a decent sample size against Nova. Four of them against Nova are hitting under .200.

The only two above .200 in that group is of course Evan Longoria (.286) and Desmond Jennings (.273). As for the majority of the Rays’ hitters, Nova does very well. In the final game, the Rays will get their first look against Masahiro Tanaka and vise-versa. Just like all of Tanaka’s starts, it should be fun to watch.

 

Tags: New York Yankees News Series Preview

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