Yankees Sabathia vs. Rangers Holland Yankees Sabathia vs. Rangers Holland Yankees Sabathia vs. Rangers Holland
 

Yankees Sabathia vs. Rangers Holland

Rangers vs. Yankees - 2010 ALCS - Yankee Stadium

The New York Yankees didn’t get to go for the sweep up in Boston, as it hasn’t stopped raining here in the Northeast since late Saturday night.

So, the team heads to Texas to face the red-hot Rangers in a three-game set that promises to be a dogfight.

These are two of the best teams in the American League and it is a must-watch series for all serious baseball fans.

With CC Sabathia’s scheduled start in Fenway being a wash, the Yankees ace will instead open the series at Rangers Ballpark vs. Derek Holland.

Let’s breakdown this match-up:

Vs. Derek Holland:

So far in 2012, Holland is 2-0 over three starts, posting a 3.10 ERA and has pitched no less than 6 innings in each. He has given up 2 homers, seven earned runs, and six walks; while striking out 20 of the 79 total batters he has faced.

These numbers are solid but you have to take into account that his last two starts were against the offensively anemic Mariners and a severely troubled Red Sox team.

Holland’s first start, where he got a no-decision, was against the White Sox and he didn’t get through the sixth inning and gave up three runs and three walks. The Rangers also lost the game 3-4.

The active Yankees bats have a combined .326 average against Holland, but the real trouble could come from Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter.

In his 17 career at-bats vs. Holland, Tex has three homers, eight RBIs, zero strikeouts and posts a .412 batting average. Tex is coming off a HUGE game, as his bat was literally on fire and if that carries into Texas, Holland could have his hands full.

The Captain is off to one of the best starts in his career and who is on the mound hasn’t really fazed him. Jeter has seven hits, four doubles, a RBI and a walk in his 15 at-bats in his career vs. Holland. The problem for Holland is that Jeter has been feasting of left-handed pitching this season, as in 23 at-bats he is posting a .565 average, with two homers, seven RBIs, one double and one strikeout.

Knowing Rangers skipper Ron Washington, Holland will walk at least one of these two at some point tomorrow night.

Vs. CC Sabathia:

CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When breaking down this match-up looking purely at stats, Sabathia has the advantage but not by a landslide.

Active Rangers bats have a .271 average vs. Sabathia, with five homers and 31 RBIs over 214 at-bats. The Rangers have struck out 48 times against the ace, while drawing 17 walks.

Sabathia is a perennial slow starter and this season is no different. He is currently posting a 5.59 ERA, having given up 12 earned runs, three homers; six walks but does have 22 strikeouts.

In his last outing vs. the Twins, Sabathia finally got his first win in 2012. He did struggle up until the middle of the third inning, and after that he seemed to have his command back.

The positive here is that in his last start Sabathia threw 113 pitches in almost eight innings, and 73 were strikes, which is right on track.

Sabathia could run into problems against Michael Young who has six doubles and nine RBIs in 52 career at-bats against him. Also, Elvis Andrus has been a tough out for Sabathia, as in 18 at-bats he has struck out Andrus three times, while giving up seven hits, two RBIs and a walk. Also, Ian Kinsler has two homers and three walks in his 23 career at-bats vs. Sabathia.

MY PREDICTION:

Both these teams are hitting the hell out of the ball right now, but in this game the Yankees have the advantage on the mound.

Holland has made five regular starts vs. Yankees, and he is 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA, which means the Bombers have figured out how to hit this guy out. Skipper Joe Girardi will make sure to load up the righty bats to face him, and in that tiny ballpark expect a solid number of runs to score.

And with Sabathia getting back into being himself, you have to give the edge to New York unless Holland has some new super pitchers nobody has seen before.

No doubt the Rangers are playing like the best team in baseball, but after Saturday’s performance in Boston nothing is out of reach for the Yankees. Also, the Yankees are on the verge of clicking and my gut says they will mess with Texas.

The majority of experts, bloggers and fans seem to be picking the Rangers to win not only this game but also this entire series; I happen to disagree.

Yankees beat the Rangers to open the series with a score of 8-4.