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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Many in the baseball world were warning of a disastrous April for the normally powerful New York Yankees. They were missing several key players because of injuries. There were concerns about the pitching staff after an inconsistent Spring. And, the fact that Toronto had become a serious player in the markets had led many to believe that the “Yankee Era” as we knew it with AROD, Jeter, and even Mariano Rivera at his best had come to an end.

Then…an 0-2 start out of the gate against hated Boston backed up the doom and gloom! C.C. Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda were hit hard. If THOSE guys weren’t going to star, the team was suddenly looking at a horrible record until the millionaire infield was back in the lineup. One time through the rotation, and the Yankees were sitting at 1-4 with Justin Verlander staring them in the face.


*New York BEAT Verlander thanks to a gem from Sabathia, who finally started to look like his usual self.

*New York BEAT Cleveland in the Tribe’s home opener as Kuroda righted the ship as well.

*The offense started getting runs on the board.

*Toronto face-planted out of the gate, going 2-4 in the first week despite being home favorites every time they took the field.

*Tampa Bay didn’t impress despite getting its first week at home as well.

*Baltimore failed to take advantage of the general divisional malaise despite hosting lowly Minnesota last weekend.

That 1-4 start had fans (and haters!) imagining the Yanks falling to the cellar of the AL East and staying there for a few week weeks. Now, we have a decent team with a solid starting rotation that seems more than able to hold its own in a division that may take weeks to figure itself out.

Wednesday Night the Yankees visit Cleveland in a game that will be nationally televised by ESPN. The game will provide a very important test for how the rest of April is likely to play out. Ivan Nova is on the mound for the Bronx Bombers…and they’re not likely to be a serious force in the AL this year if they don’t get anything from the back of their rotation. They’re facing Brett Myers of Cleveland, a pitcher who probably shouldn’t even be in a Major League rotation right now. This result will go a long way towards telling us how much the Yankees are going to matter this month, and this year.

 

TONIGHT’S PITCHERS (stats from 2012)

NY Yankees…Ivan Nova: 12-8, 5.02 ERA, 1.47 WHIP

Cleveland…Brett Myers: 3-8, 3.31 ERA, 1.22 WHIP (as a reliever)

Nova was okay in the first half of the season but benefitted from terrific run support. He slumped down the stretch in a way that launched his ERA over 5.00 in a year where most pitchers who knew what they were doing were better than 4.00. Mediocre pitchers were better than 4.30 or so. If you ignore the won-lost mark, the rest are dismal for a guy making so many starts.

Myers worked out the bullpen for the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox last year. That’s a poor ERA for a reliever who can just come in and go as hard as he can for an inning. The poor won-lost record gives you a hint of why the Astros and Chisox weren’t sad to see him go!

 

INNINGS PER START AND K-RATE (stats from 2012)

Ivan Nova: 6.1 IP per start and 8.1 K-Rate

Brett Myers: Didn’t make any starts, 5.5 K-Rate

The only saving grace right now for Nova is his K-Rate. If you’re up over 8.0…then you have the potential to be a force in this sport. Myers has a very poor rate at this stage in his career. And, in fact…he didn’t strike ANYBODY out in his only start this season in Toronto (while allowing 4 home runs!). Both of these pitchers are in such shaky form right now that you should consider the Over as long as weather isn’t an issue for hitters.

JIM HURLEY may pull the trigger on this one. But, he’s also looking at CWS/Washington, NY Mets/Philadelphia, Baltimore/Boston, and Oakland/LA Angeles in Wednesday Night baseball. And don’t forget about the NBA! You can purchase game day BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about long term packages, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453.

Maybe the Yankees dynasty really is over. Or, maybe there’s one last hurrah that will provide drama over the next six months. One dynasty that will never end…the profit powerhouse that is JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

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