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Preview: Yanks Head to Baltimore for Opening Day

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 01:  Pitcher CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees starts against the Philadelphia Phillies at George Steinbrenner Field April 1, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Ari KramerSenior Analyst IIApril 5, 2009


It's still in the 50s in New York City and spring has been pretty cruel so far, teasing us with some gorgeous days, but Opening Day is just hours away. 

Monday's forecast in Baltimore would make baseball players across the country want to stay inside the clubhouse instead of taking the field. The Weather Channel is predicting a 60-degree day, which sounds nice, but it will be the 90 percent chance of precipitation and thunderstorms that could potentially postpone Opening Day.

Assuming that the game is played, because it will be televised on ESPN, the starting pitchers will be CC Sabathia and Baltimore's top pitcher, Jeremy Guthrie.

The Yanks are excited to see Sabathia take the mound in a Yankee uniform for the first time, but don't be surprised if Joe Girardi does not let the former Brewer pitch deep into the game if the weather is bad. The Yankees are expecting big things from Sabathia, so they won't risk anything under poor weather conditions.

You can also expect Dave Trembley to be careful with Guthrie, who led the Orioles in wins (10) and ERA (3.63) last season. Guthrie has some nasty stuff and could be a tough match for the Yankees' lineup. In three games against the Yankees last season, Guthrie went 1-2. He surrendered one run over six innings in the win and pitched well in one of the losses, but the Yankees clobbered him the third outing.

The way that the Orioles can win is if their strong batting order can get something going against Sabathia. Baltimore's lineup is not as potent as the Yankees', but, led by Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, and Aubrey Huff, the Orioles are definitely dangerous.

Even without Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees' lineup is one of the best in baseball. Other than Cody Ransom and Brett Gardner, who has hit .375 this spring and has won the starting job in center, the entire Yankees' lineup is stocked with potential .300 hitters and could give any pitcher a nightmare.

The Yankees are a pretty safe bet to start the season 1-0 behind Sabathia and one of the best lineups in baseball.


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