May 17, 2010

Red Sox-Yankees series preview: Rays, Mets on horizon

weekahead via (click to enlarge)

The Yankees are walking into what should be a memorable week with a score to settle after yesterday’s unthinkable eighth inning.

Seven games in seven days against the two most rivaled opponents, the Red Sox and Mets, as well as the best team in baseball sandwiched in between, the Rays.

All seven games will be played in New York, starting with two two-game series in The Bronx and closing with a weekend in Flushing.

Before the Yanks rekindle the rivalry with the Sox, let’s take a look at the standings in the AL East (via
standings 5.16.10

Those top two winning percentages still rank at the top for all of baseball. But with the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, history has told us it really doesn’t matter which team is hot and which team is not. It’s like a playoff series. Any team can get their act together with the flip of a switch.

The Yankees are mad because of Mo’s meltdown yesterday, but the Red Sox have lost four of six against New York this year and the ultimate Yankee killer is returning to his old form, David Ortiz.

Pitching Matchups:

Date: Red Sox starters Yankees starters
Mon., 7:05 p.m. D. Matsuzaka (2-1, 6.35) Phil Hughes (5-0, 1.38)
Tues., 7:05 p.m. Josh Beckett (1-1, 7.46) CC Sabathia (4-2, 3.71)

Players to Watch:
Red Sox:
Ortiz. His overall numbers still don’t look that great, but  he’s on a 7-for-14 run with two homers and six RBIs, reaching base in his last eight games.

Yankees: Derek Jeter. The captain is in a slump, and he needs the Yankee faithful to have his back. He’s hurting, and boos aren’t going to help him break out. A big hit in this series is extra important for the psyche. This constant grounding out to shortstop nonsense needs to come to an end. How about some line drives to right-center?

Fortunately for the Yankees, the Red Sox starters are not at top form as of late. Hughes should out-pitch Dice-K no matter what tonight, and who knows whether we’ll see good or bad Beckett on Tuesday. I give the edge to the Yankees for the sweep because they’re at home.

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