The New York Yankees, with the depleted roster we all know by now, opened up 2013 losing two of three to Boston and two of three to Detroit.  BUT, the last game against Detroit was a 7-0 win and the Yanks downed ace Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia rebounded for a win, so the momentum is there to ride.  And now the pinstripes head to Cleveland for a four-game set.  Here is a series preview:

Pitching:  Hiroki Kuroda opens up the series against a once powerful ace of the Rockies, Ubaldo Jimenez.  The first few pitches will be interesting to watch for Kuroda, who was hit by a liner off the bat of Shane Victorino during the Red Sox series and had to exit the game.  Game two features Pettitte vs. Carraso followed by Nova-Myers then Hughes-McAllister.

Old friends and rivals:  Cleveland is managed by former Red Sox skipper Terry Francona, who won two World Series with Boston in 2004 and 2007.  Nick Swisher, former Yank, plays right field for Cleveland and is off to a slow start, hitting .182 with one RBI and four hits.

Prediction:  Yanks win three of four.  No matter who is in the uniforms, New York always plays well against Cleveland (save the 2007 ALDS where Joba Chamberlain was attacked by midges in Game 2 (thanks, Joe Torre).  Look for Robinson Cano to get it going against inferior pitching.  Cleveland has been the poster boy for inconsistency so far this season.  At 3-3, the Indians were recently shutout twice by Tampa Bay, only to win game three of the series 13-0 and hit Rays ace David Price like a piñata.  The free-swinging Indians' offense can score in bunches when it is on, led by the talented catcher Carlos Santana and another red-hot player, first baseman Mark Reynolds.

By:  Mike Lindsley, "Mid-Day with Mike," 1-4, Yankee pre/post-game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio.  Follow him on Twitter at @MikeLSports.


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