A classic matchup of the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers will get the party started in Detroit for the 2016 season. It will be the Tigers first showing at home, after they took a couple of wins from the Marlins in Miami. It’s a little colder up north in Detroit than it was in Florida. Colder than everybody hoped it’d be for the opening day in Detroit. The forecast registers a high temperature of 43 degrees for Friday. Not quite as cold as earlier in the week close by in Cleveland, but cold nevertheless. At least there won’t be any snow to contend with in the afternoon. The area is projected to get 1-3 inches of rain overnight. Baseball weather? I think now. However, hopefully it won’t be long before the birds are chirping and the sun is out.
The Tigers newest acquisition in the offseason, Jordan Zimmermann, will get the nod for opening day in Detroit. Zimmermann spent seven years in Washington, his entire career up to this point. He hopes to become a valuable member of the rotation for the Tigers. The Tigers do need another pitcher to step up, and Zimmermann has a lot of expectations to be an integral part of their success in 2016. The bullpen is undoubtedly a question mark for them this season, but the rotation needed another arm.
Detroit gets Zimmermann from Washington, after Max Scherzer left for Washington last year. With the pitching options available on the market, Zimmermann was a pretty nice signing for the Tigers. He’ll get to show his talents in front of the home crowd, in his first start with his new ball club.
The Yankees will counter with Luis Severino. Severino was a welcome addition to the Yankees last season as a rookie. He jumped into the rotation late in the season and made the most of it. In 11 games, Severino finished with a 2.89 ERA and 5-3 record to give the Yankees a bit of a boost late in the year. If the Yanks’ offense plays as well as they did in their last outing pitching won’t matter. The Yankees bats came out to play, battering the Astros for 16 runs in a 16-6 win. The Yankees enter at 1-1, splitting their series against Houston. It’s going to be chilly, but the opening day atmosphere in Detroit should provide for good times. Let’s try and cash in, early Friday afternoon and get the weekend started off the right way.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers
Luis Severino (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (0-0, 0.00)
The Tigers came out and put on a show in their first two games on the diamond. It is to be expected with this team. The offense should perform at a high level throughout the year. However, again, it’s going to hinge on how well their bullpen can hold leads. They blew the opener against the Marlins, but the offense came to the rescue and pulled out a 8-7 win. The Tigers followed it up the next day with a 7-3 victory. Needless to say, the offense has been lights out.
This will be the first early season start for Severino in his career, as he didn’t get around to pitching until late in year last season. Could the cold weather conditions have an impact on his performance today? He does not have much cold weather experience, if at all. But there is no doubt, he earned his spot, and C.C. Sabathia shouldn’t be in this spot. The cold shouldn’t bother Zimmermann this afternoon after a long stay in Washington. He’s done considerably well against the Yankees, registering a 2.77 ERA and 1.08 WHIP during his career. I think the veteran outduels the youngster on this chilly day in Detroit. Being backed by the Tigers’ offense doesn’t hurt, either.
PICK: TIGERS TO WIN -120