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Yankees versus Red Sox – Let’s Get Ready to Rumble….kind of,

Well baseball fans, it is that time of year again. Yankees versus Red Sox, the cream of the crop of the AL East, two of the best teams in baseball, all the big names….Arod, Jeter, Pettite, Rivera, Giambi vs. Beckett, Schilling, Dice-K, Papi, Manny…basically it is a baseball fan’s dream. So how do we look at this weekend? The pressure is entirely on the Red Sox, 100%. Why do you ask? It is simple:

Pettite vs. Schilling – Red Sox are favored
Karstens vs. Beckett – it is really no contest, Red Sox are favored
Wright vs. Dice – K – Yeah you guessed it, Red Sox are favored

All of the pressure is on the Red Sox. This is not Pettite, Mussina and Wang rolling in, even Pavano would be a step up over Karstens and Wright. No, it is Andy P and Schilling and then Yank’s minor leaguers versus arguably the Red Sox two best pitchers. If I am a Red Sox fan, which I am not, I would be disappointed at anything but a 3-0 sweep. The Sox get to roll out their 1,2,3..their top of the rotaion guys and those guys expect to win and the fans expect them to win. So why is the pressure off of the Yanks, because if they do get swept they can simply say they are banged up and had to throw minor league pitchers at the Red Sox. They have an out.

Schilling and Beckett know what this series is all about but Dice-K has no idea. Dice-K has one Fenway start and he was completely outpitched by King Felix. The Yankees batting order will be like nothing Dice-K has ever seen. The one stat I blogged about earlier in the week is key to the Dice-K start. Dice-K’s OBP when pitching from the stretch is 90 pints higher than from the windup. This stat is not based on this year but spans his entire career. I think the Yanks hitters will take a lot of pitches and will frustrate Dice-K. The Yanks also have speed at the top of the lineup, which is something Dice-K has not seen yet as well. This could be a long start for him and I am predicting that this will be the worst start of his short MLB career.

The Arod debate. Arod is on fire and does not need any more attention. Yankee fans still do not trust Arod and this series will either keep Arod hitting on the war path or will humble him a bit. The entire world knows Arod crumbles in big spots and the Yanks inexperienced starters are going to need all the offensive help they can get. This series will be big for Arod because everybody will want to know if he can remain hot or if he crumbles under the pressure like he has in Fenway in the past and especially the playoffs. A hot April does not predict a hot October and Arod still has a lot to prove.

I am willing to live blog the Dice-K Sunday start if peple request it. Check out my live blog of his first Fenway start to see what I can do. I hope this is a good series and a competitive one.

Flash Flash

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April 20, 2007 - Posted by | Derek Jeter, Dice-K, ESPN, Fenway, Giambi, Hideki Matsui, Japan, Jeter, Joe Torre, Kei Igawa, Kyle Farnsworth, Mariano Rivera, Matsuzaka, Mike Mussina, New York, Red Sox, Schilling, Scott Proctor, Sports, State of the Yankees, Yankees

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