Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Dodgers Preview

For only the third time since Interleague play was introduced in 1997 will the New York Yankees travel to Los Angeles to play the Los Angeles Dodgers in Dodgers Stadium, the previous two times being in 2004 and 2010. This will be a quick two game series jam packed with great pitching match-ups which will be reflected if you go to the ticket office and try and purchase a ticket for this series. This is the most expensive series in Los Angeles over the past three seasons with tickets up 123% for Dodgers home game tickets and an 18% increase for the Yankees road tickets, which are already a pretty big draw wherever they go to begin with.

 The Yankees will have their captain Derek Jeter back in the lineup for this series and there is an outside shot of having Alex Rodriguez back as well for Tuesday. The Yankees are coming off of being shut out for the 9th time this season, their most since 1997, and can use any kind of offensive boost they can get. The Dodgers are using the off day on Monday to shuffle their rotation and push by original game one starter Ricky Nolasco to Thursday to take on the Chicago Cubs. The Dodgers are easily the hottest team in the National League the past month or so after taking over the NL West lead with this recent run of victories. These two teams seem to be going in opposite directions right now but with the recent addition of Alfonso Soriano for the Yankees and with the trade deadline looming this series has the potential to make or break these two teams seasons.

The game one match-up will be Zach Greinke taking the bump for the home team and being opposed by the  struggling Yankees veteran Andy Pettitte. Greinke is 8-3 with a 3.49 ERA in 16 starts this season including a 5-1 record with a 2.56 ERA in eight home starts this season. Andy Pettitte has been more like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Pettitte this season with a 7-8 record with a 4.39 ERA including more than a few starts with one bad inning mixed in with five or six other masterful innings. With an average ticket price of $150, although you can get in for as low as $32, it seems like the fans are expecting a pitchers duel in this game. Andy Pettitte is a big game pitcher and with the Yankees falling farther and farther out of the race and with the Dodgers streaking to the top of the NL West in the last month this may be the game that turns Andy Pettitte's season around.

In game two the pitching match-up will be Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers and former Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda for the Yankees. Clayton Kershaw is 10-6 with a major league leading 1.96 ERA in 22 starts this season. Hiroki Kuroda spent his first four seasons in the majors with the Dodgers before leaving the West coast to pitch for the New York Yankees and has become the Yankees ace ever since his arrival. Kuroda has put up a 10-6 record this season with a 2.51 ERA and should have more since he was on the mound for both of Yankees closer Mariano Rivera's blown saves in 2013.With an average ticket price of $141, although you can get in for as little as $29, fans may realize that this has the potential to be one of those games where one run may be enough for your team to win.

The Dodgers are 25-13 in games started by both Kershaw and Greinke this season so this looks to be a tough series for the Yankees to win when they need the wins the most. The Dodgers got hot when Zach Greinke and Hanley Ramirez got healthy and off of the disabled list and proceeded to storm to the top of the NL West all the way from fourth place in the division. Fourth place is currently where the Yankees are sitting, although 3.5 games behind in the Wild Card race, and are looking to have a similar run at the AL East crown. This should be a fun series for Dodgers and Yankees fans, baseball history loving fans, and the casual baseball fans alike. Tune in starting at 10:00 pm ET and 7:00 pm local time so you don't miss a single pitch in what should be a fun series.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)