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New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals: Heath Fillmyer vs. Masahiro Tanaka

After a rainy win last night, the Yankees are right back at it in the Bronx

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Last night was exactly what should happen when the Yankees play the Royals, Hopefully that carries over into today’s game. To set things up, the team has the right pitcher on the mound.

Masahiro Tanaka earned the Opening Day start in Luis Severino’s absence, and he’s done everything asked of him. The right-hander boasts a 3.22 ERA and 3.02 FIP in the first month. Crucially, he’s giving up fewer home runs than ever before - his 0.81 HR/9 would be a career best if it holds. Tanaka’s problem has always been the long ball, and if he’s found a way to keep batters in the park, there’s not much else he can really improve upon.

The Royals counter with Heath Fillmyer, a player who has had the opposite start to the season of Tanaka. His 9.00 ERA belies a 3.94 FIP, and indicates that a better pitcher is somewhere in his stuff. Until a breakthrough happens, he doesn’t strike many batters out, and hopefully the Yankees can go to work.

One thing we’ve learned about this Royals team is how much they like to run. They’ve stolen four bases in the first two games, and a lot of pressure will be on Tanaka, the bullpen and catcher Austin Romine to control that kind of speed.

First pitch comes at 1:05pm EDT, on YES and WFAN.