Since the Yankees are playing only a two game set against each club, I’ll save space and write one column previewing both series.

Adam and I will be meeting with Nick Swisher after today’s game, so definitely come back tonight/tomorrow to check it out.

AP Photo/Duane Burleson

The Yankees are 4-2 against the Red Sox this year and 2-1 against the Rays. All nine of these games came on the road. The Yankees are 12-3 at home this season, easily the top record in the majors.

We touched upon the Yankees’ rotation set up on Saturday. I don’t like it. Since the Yankees are skipping Javier Vazquez, again, they are sending the message that they don’t trust him against the big boys. Vazquez was very good in his last start(seven innings, two runs, seven strikeouts) against a solid Tigers ball club. He appeared to have command and confidence back. Let him build off of that.

In order for Vazquez to be successful in New York, he has to beat the Red Sox and Rays. The only way he can prove that is with an opportunity, something that the Yankees need to give him. Phil Hughes has never thrown more than 86 innings in one big league and season and he’s already up to 39. I understand that he has been one of the AL’s best pitchers so far and teams love to ride the hot arm, but the Yankees also need to watch his innings. Ideally, Hughes will throw 150-160 innings (roughly 27 starts) this year. For that to happen, the Yankees will have to skip him a few times throughout the year. Even if he and Vazquez swapped spots this week, it wouldn’t hurt. Vazquez would get a prime-time showdown against Boston and Hughes would have the opportunity to continue his dominance on Friday against the Mets.  However, Joe Girardi gets paid the big bucks to make decisions like this. He led the Yankees to a championship last year and obviously doesn’t trust Vazquez. Let’s take a deeper look into the numbers.

May 17th-May 18th: Red Sox Come to Town.

It feels like the Yankees and Red Sox have played 100 times already this season, but in reality, this is Boston’s first trip to the Bronx. The Yankees were 9-9 overall against the Red Sox last season, but went 7-2 against them at home. This mark includes an August four-game sweep and a three-game September sweep.

Pitching Match-Ups:

Monday, 7:05 PM, ESPN: Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-1, 6.35 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (5-0, 1.38 ERA)

Last Start:
Matsuzaka: Win, seven innings, one run, nine strikeouts.
Hughes: Win, seven innings, no runs, eight strikeouts.

Career:
Matuszaka: 3-3, 5.49 ERA (1-2, 4.73 ERA at Yankee Stadium)
Hughes: 1-2, 5.85 ERA

Tuesday, 7:05 PM, YES: Josh Beckett (1-1, 7.46 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (4-2, 3.71 ERA)

Last Start:
Beckett: (May 7th vs. Yankees): Loss, 5 1/3 innings, nine runs, eight strikeouts.
Sabathia: Loss, six innings, six runs, four strikeouts.

Career:
Beckett: 9-6, 5.96 ERA (4-2, 5.66 ERA at Yankee Stadium)
Sabathia: 5-5, 3.74 ERA

The Beckett-Sabathia match-up is a re-match from Opening Night. A game the Red Sox won, 9-7.

May 19th-May 20th: Here Come the Rays!!!

As soon as the Red Sox leave town, the Tampa Bay Rays will be flying up from Florida for a short two-game set. The Yankees went 11-7 against the Rays last season. The Yankees went 6-3 against the Rays in the Bronx, including an impressive four game sweep in September.

Pitching Match-Ups:

Wednesday, 7:05 PM, ESPN: Wade Davis (3-3, 3.38 ERA) vs. AJ Burnett (4-1, 3.38 ERA)

Last Start:
Davis: Loss, six innings, three runs, two strike outs.
Burnett: ND, 6 2/3 innings, three runs, four strike outs.

Career:
Davis: 0-2, 5.73 ERA (Has Never Pitched At Yankee Stadium)
Burnett: 12-4, 2.76 ERA

Thursday, 7:05 PM, YES: James Shields (4-1, 3.13 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte (5-0, 1.79 ERA)

Last Start:
Shields: ND, eight innings, two runs, ten strikeouts.
Pettitte: Win, 6 1/3 innings, no runs, two strikeouts.

Career:
Shields: 1-7, 5.76 ERA (1-3, 6.35 ERA At Yankee Stadium)
Pettitte: 16-5, 3.81 ERA

Enjoy the games!!