Archer outpitches Tanaka, Rays top Yankees 7-3 in MLB opener

Last season, the 27-year-old ripped a RBI double off Dallas Keuchel Opening Day, then went on to maintain a.305/.345/.488 slash line, a 1.84 win probability added and 123 Weighted Runs Created (wRC) throughout the month of Apri.

St. Louis went 86-76 past year and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010, but the additions of Fowler and reliever Brett Cecil ramped up the optimism for this season. Whether or not those plans include Tanaka will remain to be seen.

For the Rays, Kevin Kiermaier, Brad Miller and Evan Longoria had two hits. Tanaka departed from the field only after 2 2/3 innings. The Cardinals got another positive jolt when they announced a new contract for Molina earlier in the day that runs through the 2020 season. While striking out 17 batters to just two walks is impressive, also keep in mind batters only hit.157/.181/.371 in 70 at-bats. The Rays would finish the first inning up 3-0 and never look back. Longoria connected for a two-run drive in the second. Obviously, the Yankees would want that type of production for a full season but with shortstop Didi Gregorius out until mid-May, an encore presentation would be so significant. He posted a 4.41 FIP with a 1.47 WHIP and 15.7% HR/FB when facing LHB last season and Schwarber is as powerful as a lefty as you'll find in this league, plus he'll hit at Busch Stadium, which has a short 335-foot porch in right field. Ronald Torreyes, who is replacing the injured Didi Gregorius, grounded out to second base after Judge to score Chase Headley.

Fowler also heard all cheers all night long, and he used his legs to get St. Louis a run in the third.

Tim Beckham ($2900/$2100) could serve as a solid punt play in the hopes that the Rays get to Tanaka at home.

"It makes it more frustrating", Tanaka said.

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Arizona got a double and three singles after Melancon (0-1) retired his first two hitters in the ninth. The Rays posted the highest K-Rate (24.5%) while scoring the second-fewest runs (672) in the A.L. previous year and didn't do much to upgrade their lineup. The seven earned runs are a career high - he had allowed seven runs on four other occasions, though there were unearned runs involved - and the 2.2 innings are the second fewest of his career.

Tanaka just did not have it against the Rays.

Girardi says he was caught off guard with Tanaka's poor outing.

.

When it comes to the starting rotation, the Yankees have to know that they are entering the season with five starters whose performance can vary from absolutely dominant to flat and ineffective.

"We made Tanaka work", Longoria said. He was pulled after 67 pitches, with reliever Tommy Layne taking over for the final out of the third.

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