The New York Yankees begin their 2015 season on Monday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. They will take on the Toronto Blue Jays who are a division rival. Toronto boasts a strong lineup with some young pitching and also a veteran mix. They have R.A. Dickey the knuckleballer and Mark Buerhle. Drew Hutchison and Daniel Norris are also in the rotation. The lineup boasts Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes, Edwin Encarnacion and also new catcher Russell Martin.
The Blue Jays will have a strong lineup, decent rotation and a questionable bullpen. The Yankees are armed with a strong rotation if healthy, a very good bullpen and a questionable offense. They are hoping their offense will be better with health. It looks like they will have Jacoby Ellsbury at the top of the lineup this year with Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann and Chase Headley in the middle. Alex Rodriguez could be the regular DH batting in the bottom third of the order. He showed a lot in spring training so maybe he can add some punch to their lineup and then Stephen Drew and Didi Gregorius will be at the bottom of the order. It could be a good lineup but that will have to prove itself and stay healthy.
Here are the matchups for the three game series which will take place Monday afternoon and then Wednesday and Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.
Monday-Masahiro Tanaka vs. Drew Hutchison
Wednesday Michael Pineda vs. R.A. Dickey
Thursday-CC Sabathia vs. Daniel Norris(the battle of the lefties)
Norris and Hutchison are both kids, Dickey is a veteran knuckleballer. Last season Hutchison was 11-13 with a 4.48ERA, Dickey was 14-13 with a 3.71 ERA and Norris was 0-0 with a 5.40 in limited action. Tanaka set the world on fire before getting hurt and then returning for two starts at the end of the year. He was 13-5 with a 2.77 ERA. Pineda when healthy was great at 5-5 with a 1.89 ERA and Sabathia was 3-4 with a 5.28 before going down in May with an injury for the rest of the season.
I would expect the Yankees to win two out of three in this opening series, but we will see what happens beginning on Monday afternoon.