The New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks begin a three-game series Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. This interleague matchup doesn’t occur too often, the most memorable being the 2001 World Series where Arizona prevailed in seven games.
The Yankees were off to an awful start this season, featuring a lineup already depleted by injuries. They’ve since won six of their last 10 and trail Boston by only 1.5 games.
The Diamondbacks have also been playing well of late. They’ve won seven of their last 10 thanks to quality pitching and timely hitting.
Here are the players that will have the most impact in deciding the winner of this series.
Robinson Cano, Yankees
Robinson Cano will be the best player on the field when these two teams get together. The Yankees' second baseman has had a decent start to the season, hitting .311 with three home runs and eight RBI.
With guys like Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson out, Cano has been asked to carry more of the load for the Bronx Bombers.
He's has had 12 of his 14 hits on the year in the Yankees’ last five games, and they’ll need Cano’s hot hitting to continue if they want to win this series.
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
Paul Goldschmidt might not have as much hype as some of the younger stars in the league, but the fans in Arizona recognize his skill. The 25-year-old is coming off a solid year in 2012 and is off to a great start this season.
Arizona doesn’t have too many stars in their lineup, and Goldschmidt has the potential to be their best one. He’ll have to hit against the Yankees’ pitching this week for his team to succeed.
CC Sabathia, Yankees
CC Sabathia is the one pitcher in this series who can completely take over a game. Sabathia is off to a good start in 2013, winning two of his first three outings.
The Yankees ace has an ERA just over 2.00, and ranks in the top 20 in strikeouts this year.
The big left-hander will oppose Arizona’s young pitcher, Wade Miley Tuesday night. In a game that could be difficult to score a lot of runs, the Yankees will rely on Sabathia to pitch deep into the night to solidify a victory.