The big day is here. This afternoon, the Yankees will kick off the 2021 baseball season with a matinee against the Blue Jays. Hyun Jin Ryu will toe the rubber for Toronto, and he’ll have to contend with this impressive starting nine, which was just announced:
- DJ LeMahieu, 2B
- Aaron Judge, RF
- Aaron Hicks, CF
- Giancarlo Stanton, DH
- Gleyber Torres, SS
- Gio Urshela, 3B
- Gary Sánchez, C
- Jay Bruce, 1B
- Clint Frazier, LF
Leading off is the defending batting champion (LeMahieu), followed by one of the most powerful hitters in the sport (Judge), and in the hole, an extremely patient switch-hitter who belted 27 homers himself the last time he was fully healthy — which he is now (Hicks). Following him is a man with the most vicious swing in the game (Stanton), a middle infielder who certainly does not hit like a classic middle infielder (Torres), and a third baseman whose production at the plate since the start of 2019 has exceeded the likes of Kris Bryant, Nolan Arenado, and José Ramírez (Urshela).
Oh, and while the bottom three hitters aren’t quite as much of a nuisance, they can each still easily take Ryu deep if he makes a mistake. In short? That will play.
It’s a bummer that defending home run king Luke Voit won’t be a part of it until May at the earliest, but still! That lineup is something, especially considering the fact that Frazier sits at the bottom despite the fact that he had the second-highest wRC+ among all American League outfielders in 2020. It’s fairly ridiculous.
Supporting this behemoth of a lineup on the mound will be the American League’s best pitcher since 2018: Gerrit Cole, a strikeout artist who can easily win games with merely one run of support when he’s on top of his game. Even without George Springer, the Blue Jays could certainly give him a fight though, so more than a few runs would be appreciated.
First pitch is at 1:05pm EST on YES Network and ESPN. Get excited.