Originally written on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 3/30/13
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Hellickson has a 3-1 record with a 3.19 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP against the Yankees Threat Level: 9 In 2012, Tampa finished 90-72, which was the fifth best record in the American League, but missed the playoffs. Even though they traded James Shields and Wade Davis away, they got back to highly coveted prospects in Wil Myers (#4 prospect in all of baseball heading into the 2013 season) and Jake Odorizzi. A shrewd move for a team with a limited payroll, as Shields was set to become a free agent after the 2013 season and was in line for a pay raise. Joe Maddon has infused a culture of winning since his arrival in Tampa, which is a stark contrast to the laughing stock that the franchise was before. They never have the best roster or a highest payroll, but they do a great job getting baseball players who play the way Maddon wants. Tampa Bay has had 90+ wins 4 of the last 5 seasons and they do all the little things it takes to win. I expect them to be just as competitive in 2013.   Projected Lineup 1. Desmond Jennings CF 2. Matt Joyce DH 3. Evan Longoria 3B 4. Ben Zobrist RF 5. Yunel Escobar SS 6. James Loney 1B 7. Jose Molina C 8. Kelly Johnson 2B 9. Sam Fuld   Projected Pitching Rotation 1. David Price LHP 2. Jeremy Hellickson RHP 3. Roberto Hernandez RHP *Formerly Fausto Carmona 4. Matt Moore LHP 5. Alex Cobb RHP   Closer Fernando Rodney RHP   Yankee Killer: Jeremy Hellickson On a team that has been predicated on pitching and defense, it is no surprise that a pitcher took home this category. Hellickson has a 3-1 record with a 3.19 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP in 7 games (5 starts) against the Yankees. Last season, Hellickson only had 1 game started against the Yankees, but he pitched 8.2 scoreless innings and got the win. I am sure the Yankees would not want to see a repeat of that performance.   Rays Killer: Robinson Cano In 134 games against the Rays, Cano is batting .321 with 22 home runs (which is second only to his 24 against the O’s). 15 of the 22 long balls have come in Tampa, which is the most home runs he has in any opposing stadium. Tropicana Field may seem like a dump to most, but to Cano, it is a home away from home.   When They Play The Yankees: IN NY: 6/20-6/23, 7/26-7/28, 9/24-9/26. IN TB: 4/22-4/24, 5/24-5/26, 8/23-8/25.
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