Old-Timers’ Day is in full swing, but there is still a baseball game to play.
It’s fitting that on the yearly celebration of past Yankee greats, the man toeing the rubber will be the team’s oldest player. CC Sabathia makes his 13th start of the year, and we hope it’s a lucky one against the Tampa Bay Rays.
For CC, it all comes down to contact. He’s striking out fewer batters than he has since 2004, and is severely outperforming his peripheral metrics. His ability to manage contact allows him to do that semi-sustainably. Against a weak-hitting Tampa offense, he may be able to continue today.
Meanwhile, the Rays will continue with their “opener” plan, giving the ball to Wilmer Font to start the game. Font has become sort of a meme in certain baseball circles, mostly because of his hilarious inability to prevent home runs. His 3.45 HR/9 and 25% HR/FB rates are actually lower than last year, but both look promising for the Yankees to jump out to an early lead. The opener stymied the Yankees yesterday, recording all four outs with which he was tasked. With Aaron Judge and company facing off against Font early, though, there’s a good chance the Yankees could break the game open quickly.
The Old-Timers’ ceremonies push the start of the game back a bit, so first pitch will be at 2:05pm EDT, on YES and WFAN.
#Rays lineup:— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) June 17, 2018