Good morning! It's time for another dose of way-too-early baseball, courtesy of the New York Yankees. The past three wins have been pretty morale-boosting, and another today just might quell any lingering worries from last week. The Mariners are currently tied with the Angels for second in the division, with the Rangers at the top of the standings. Somehow, the Rangers have yet to have an off day, so they've got two more games under their belts, but a Texas loss and a Seattle win would put both teams at a meager .500 – good enough to lead the AL West.
|SEATTLE MARINERS||NEW YORK YANKEES|
|Norichika Aoki - LF||Jacoby Ellsbury - CF|
|Seth Smith - DH||Brett Gardner - LF|
|Robinson Cano - 2B||Carlos Beltran - RF|
|Nelson Cruz - RF||Mark Teixeira - 1B|
|Kyle Seager - 3B||Brian McCann - C|
|Adam Lind - 1B||Alex Rodriguez - DH|
|Steve Clevenger - C||Starlin Castro - 2B|
|Leonys Martin - CF||Didi Gregorius - SS|
|Ketel Marte - SS||Ronnie Torreyes - 3B|
|Hisashi Iwakuma - RHP||Masahiro Tanaka - RHP|
Hisashi Iwakuma is taking the mound for his third start of the season, and while he's currently boasting a 4.09 ERA, his first two starts were not as worrying as, well, nearly any other portion of the team. Masahiro Tanaka will get the start for the Yankees. The right-hander has allowed four runs on seven hits this season, with a 3.38 ERA to show for it. The bigger story here is that when these former teammates take the mound today, it will be just the 12th time two Japanese pitchers have faced each other in MLB history. If you think 10 is a bit early for a Sunday game, remember that first pitch is at 2:05 a.m. in Japan.
In other news, Kyle Seager returns to action after taking a breather yesterday. Let's hope he can shake off whatever was troubling him and get back to his usual, more consistent self.
Adam Lind gets the nod at first, and Seth Smith is DH. Iannetta is getting a day off, and the M's will need to compensate for the loss of his hot bat.
A sweep would do all kinds of good things for morale and momentum. Let's do it. I'll leave you with this sweet play from yesterday:
Robbie smooth. https://t.co/VfOCEwdy6M— MLB (@MLB) April 16, 2016