The place might be the same spot the Yankees finished up a disappointing 2013 campaign, but this team is not.
Regardless, the Astros have lost 100 games the last three seasons, as they are amid an extensive franchise overhaul that features a loaded farm system that is not ready to unleash yet.
Hence, the Astros look to be the worst team in baseball once again, so starting the season against such an inferior team should be a gift for New York.
Feldman is the one Astros starter who has had some experience facing a majority of the Yankees line-up.
Here are his career numbers vs. the active Yanks:
(All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com)Scott Feldman - career stats vs. Yankees batters (active)
The Yankees should beat Feldman, as he is a very black and white pitcher that can win with plate patience, as he doesn’t walk batters but he does give up hits.
When Feldman falls back in the count, he tends to pitch down the middle a lot. But when he is ahead in a count he tends to throw with more movement, down and in or up and away getting hitters to swing and miss.
Feldman is not consistent enough to throw the experienced Yankees hitters off enough even if he is having a good day.
Who to keep your eye on?
– Mark Teixeira habitually has sluggish April and May when totally healthy, so it will be tough to judge whether his wrist is all right. Batting coach Kevin Long recently realized that vs. lefties, the switch-hitting Tex was releasing his bat early, which was a subconscious way of protecting his surgically repaired wrist. Tex said that Long was right, and he is much more confident now but only time will tell.
– Is the slimmer CC Sabathia still the Yankees ace? CC should dominate the Astros young line-up regardless of any loss in speed. He has an arsenal pitches, and experience for catcher Brian McCann to use to throw batters off.
– It will be fun to see the newly acquired stars like Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran in pinstripes.
– Adjusting to not seeing Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano, and seeing how their replacements, Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts do.
– This game marks Derek Jeter’s last Opening Day, and the first stop on his season long farewell tour. Astros plan to honor the Captain prior to Wednesday night’s game.
What is my Opening Day Prediction?
The Yankees beat the Astros, 6-1; and CC picks up his first win of the 2014 season.
"2014 Yankees: What to watch on Opening Day",