5/6: Andy Sonnanstine vs. A.J. Burnett (7:05 SS)
5/7: Jeff Niemann vs. Andy Pettitte (7:05 FSF)
Oh look, another two game series. Hooray. The slightly smaller news is that this will mark the Rays first trip to the new Yankee Stadium. The good news is the Rays will miss the return of Alex Rodriguez and won't play the Yankees again until early June. Hooray!
Burnett didn’t show it against the Rays, but his FIP is 5.49. Blame it on a decreased strikeout rate and increased homer rate (1.71/9!!!). Given the wind tunnel that is the new stadium, I’m not entirely sure I like the prophecy of Sonnanstine and Niemann pitching against Mark Teixeira and the like, but then again, it’s not like they’ll be backed by powerless bats either. The Rays owe Burnett a few more runs after last time.
Pettitte has fared better than Burnett this season. He’s walking less than three per, allowing less homeruns, and striking less out. A 3% HR/FB% is unsustainable. Let’s help statistical principles this series and regress that number towards career norms.
As for the lineup:
C Jose Molina
1B Mark Teixeira
2B Robinson Cano
3B Ramiro Pena
SS Derek Jeter
LF Johnny Damon
CF Melky Cabrera
RF Nick Swisher
DH Hideki Matsui
New York is at 67% and while a sweep would be great, you would have to be happy with a split on the road.