This is going to be a (mostly) regular thing.

Thoughts on both teams before tonight’s game:


Thing I’m Expecting: Tanaka should pitch well. He’s made 15 starts and has 15 Quality Starts. The safe bet is that he’ll do it again. I mean, you saw someone named Vidal Nuno shut down this Red Sox lineup last night, yes? One would think “Ma-kun” could (should) do the same.

Thing I Hope to See: More HRs please. The team has been struggling at home this year and, until last night (K. Johnson, Gardner, McCann), hadn’t had a multi-homerun game at home since May 17th, when Mark Teixeira, Zoilo Almonte and Brian McCann did it against the Pirates. The Yankees need to keep taking advantage of their home field and hitting the ball in the air to RF.

Player I Want To Watch: Now that McCann delivered on my hope from last night, I’m looking for something similar from Carlos Beltran. He’s one of four switch hitters (Teixeira, Roberts, Solarte) on the roster and has historically hit (slightly) better from the right side of the plate, which is where he’ll be vs. Boston’s southpaw starter, Jon Lester. Really, this team has no hope of improving upon their current state if they don’t get the expected productions from Beltran OR McCann.

Player I Don’t Want To Watch: Alfonso Soriano, who will assuredly get the start against the LHP Jon Lester. I’m not looking forward to his wild swings at pitches in the dirt and opposite batter’s box to accompany his bad routes and terrible plays in the OF. Seriously, at some point enough has to be enough with this guy. They’re only on the line for $5M of the $18M owed to him this season (thanks, Cubs) and we’re almost halfway through the year, so a percentage of that is already paid. It is probably addition by subtraction to just send him and the remainder of his salary packing and see what Zoilo Almonte or other internal OF options can bring to the table.

Red Sox:

Thing I’m Expecting Tonight: Jon Lester has been excellent so far, placing 2nd among starting pitchers in WAR coming into the day – Tanaka is 5th (Phil Hughes is 7th!). I’d expect Lester to give the Red Sox length and compete with Tanaka in minimizing base-runners and runs.

Thing I Hope To See: Tanaka (and/or any other pitcher on the mound for NYY) hitting David Ortiz in the ass in all of his plate appearances. I’m saying this because I expect Tanaka will go on to strike out every other batter he faces, of course. The degree to which the media and MLB aid and abet this sloppy, entitled mess of a man is truly astounding. I’d really just love to see him lose his temper for the 4435th time this season, realistic or not. Maybe they can use Yankee Stadium’s official scorer to just mess with his hit total.

Player I’m Interested in Seeing: The Red Sox just called up their prized prospect Mookie Betts. He’ll likely play the OF, though he was an infielder most of the time in the minors. He’s only 21 and was hitting .345/.437/.520 with 8 HR, 48 RBI and 29 SB between Double-A and Triple-A this year (per rotoworld). It should be interesting to see if his skills translate to the big league this early, or if he’ll struggle and become Jackie Bradley, Jr., Jr.

Player I’m Afraid Of: Ortiz. Assuming he’s NOT drilled in the ass every time he steps to the plate, which wouldn’t make sense. The guy has a career OPS of .973 against the Yankees and, as already mentioned (for years), is one of the most intolerable, petulant globs of human in the game.

What DO YOU, the NoMaas reader, think will happen tonight? Sound off (or just insult me) in the comments below!