The Blue Jays will be sending rookie Marcus Stroman to the hill to face Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka. Here is all you need to know about the two righties.
And what other pitcher could the Yankees want on the mound to start this pivotal series then their 25-year old, Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka.
Looking at Tanaka’s stats might make you drool, as the righty has been way better than advertised thus far in his first season pitching in the Bigs.
Masahiro Tanaka - 2014 Pitching Stats
10 1 2.02 13 13 2 1 93.2 74 24 21 9 14 103 0.216 0.94
The Blue Jays will be the first team to face Tanaka for a second time, and I am sure they are hoping for better results.
Tanaka made his first MLB career start on April 4th up in Toronto. The Japanese phenom threw seven innings, allowed six hits, one homer to ex-Yankee Melky Cabrera and got tagged for two earned runs. He struck out eight Blue Jays hitters, and walked none, which earned Tanaka the first win out of the 10 he already has this season.
Tanaka is currently on track to possibly winning the AL CY Young, ROY and should be asked to start this year’s All-Star Game for the AL.
Stroman will be making his fourth start tonight, but it is extra special because he is Long Island native. The thestar.com is reporting that Stroman expects about 150 family/friends to be on hand in the Bronx to cheer him on.
The 22-year old was a gem in the Blue Jays minor leagues, but struggled in Spring Training and started off being used out of the bullpen. Stroman struggled big time in relief, as he racked up an ERA of 12.79 that got him demoted back down to Triple-A on May 18th.
Stroman seemly was considered as not ready for prime time, but he got called up to start just 12-days later.
And so far Stroman is giving the Blue Jays a reason to keep him in a starting role. But it is too small a sample to make any decisions making tonight’s outcome big for him personally.
Marcus Stroman - 2014 Pitching Stats
3 1 5.18 8 3 0 0 24.1 34 15 14 2 3 21 0.327 1.52
Please note that Stroman earned one of the wins as a reliever.
MY THOUGHTS & PREDICTION
Here are my thoughts on tonight’s game and the match-up of Masahiro vs. Marcus.
- Yankees have never faced Stroman, which means if the bats don’t hit him well his first time through the line-up, odds are they won’t at all.
- Tanaka will be better in his second start vs. Blue Jays. Look for the hot Toronto hitters to try to capitalize off Tanaka from the get-go, as that is when he is at his most vulnerable to getting taken deep.
- Tanaka is coming off a complete game vs. the Mariners and earned his 10th win on the season, which is ridiculous.
- A big difference for the Yankees will be whether Carlos Beltran can start knocking some balls out of Yankee Stadium.
- Yankees are 13-16 at Yankee Stadium this season, which is bound to change.
- The Yankees offense seemed to wake up recently, and they cannot afford to not win all Tanaka’s starts.
- The outcome of this game, and series is a ton more important for the Yankees to win then the AL East leading Blue Jays.
My prediction is the Yankees will beat the Blue Jays behind Tanaka to start this divisional series by a score of 6-1.
Watch the Japanese phenom Tanaka pitch in person by grabbing your New York Yankees tickets for tonights game here.