Fastball key for Sabathia, Holland

April, 23, 2012
4/23/12
12:22
PM ET

US PresswireCC Sabathia (left) is 4-0 in 6 starts against the Rangers since joining New York. Derek Holland (right) is 0-4 in 6 career appearances (5 starts) against the Yankees.
The New York Yankees travel to Arlington to take on the Texas Rangers in Monday Night Baseball (ESPN, 7 ET). The Yankees have won seven of the last eight games against the Rangers, but have won only three of the last eight games in Texas.

Pitching Matchup
CC Sabathia will take the mound after he had his Sunday start against the Boston Red Sox postponed by rain. Sabathia is 4-0 with a 4.84 ERA in six starts against the Rangers since joining the Yankees (including playoffs).

Sabathia has a 5.59 ERA in three starts this season. His April ERA is 4.16, his highest for any calendar month from April to September (his September ERA of 2.77 is his lowest).

Sabathia has averaged 91.5 miles-per-hour with his fastball in 2012. That’s down a full mile-per-hour from what he averaged in both 2010 and 2011.

Hitters have swung and missed at the pitch at about a rate of one for every eight pitches thrown. In April, 2011, he got misses on about one of every six swings versus his heater.

With his 57th pitch on Monday, Sabathia will have thrown 20,000 pitches (combining regular season and postseason) since 2007, the most of anyone in the majors.

Derek Holland takes the mound for the Rangers. In six career appearances (five starts), Holland is 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA against the Yankees, his worst ERA among teams he’s faced more than once.

Unlike Sabathia, Holland has one of the best fastballs among left-handed starters this season; only three lefties have more strikeouts with the fastball than Holland, who has 10.

Battle of the Bullpens
Yankees relievers have gotten a lot of work this season, with 54⅔ innings pitched in 15 games.

David Robertson again has been a magician for the Yankees. He’s pitched eight scoreless innings this season and held opponents to 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position (they were 13-for-93 against him last season in those spots).

The most impressive thing about the Rangers bullpen might be the strikeout-to-walk ratio. In 38⅔ innings, Rangers relievers have struck out 36 and walked only three. Alexi Ogando, put back in the bullpen, has 10 strikeouts and no walks in relief this season.

The Yankees’ bullpen has excelled at getting strikeouts, striking out a league-high 28.6 percent of all hitters they’ve faced. Yankees relievers have 65 strikeouts, only 12 fewer than the team’s starters have.

The Yankees and Rangers are the top two bullpens this season in Win Probability Added, which aggregates the change in a given team’s win probability after every batter. Each bullpen has added close to two wins to its team’s win probability so far this season.

Stat of the Game
The Rangers have a run differential of +52, the best in baseball (the St. Louis Cardinals are second at +36).

Jeremy Lundblad and Mark Simon contributed to this post

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