New York Yankees fans will have a renewed enthusiasm about the 2012 MLB season on Sunday afternoon, as veteran Andy Pettitte will return to the mound at Yankee Stadium after a brief retirement came to an end by signing a one-year minor league contract on March 16.
Las Vegas oddsmakers are expecting the betting public to hammer the Bronx Bombers, opening them as minus-200 home favorites against the Seattle Mariners, while the total sits at 10.
Pettitte hasn't been seen at the major league level since suffering an 8-0 home loss to the Texas Rangers in Game 3 of the 2011 American League Championship Series, giving up two runs and five hits over seven strong innings in that effort.
The left-hander posted an 0-2 record and 3.71 ERA in four minor-league starts, while giving up eight runs (seven earned) and 14 hits over 10.2 combined innings in two outings at the extended spring training level.
In 23 career starts versus the Mariners, Pettitte has gone 11-11 with a 4.33 ERA, including an 8-4 mark and 4.29 ERA when pitching at home.
Sports bettors will likely lay the number due to the Yankees being 87-40 in day games since the start of the 2010 campaign.
Mariners starting pitcher Kevin Millwood (0-4, 5.88 ERA) has also been around the block a few times, as he looks to snap a personal four-game losing streak. He has allowed 17 runs (15 earned) and 30 hits in 24 innings over that span.
Millwood enters with a 2-6 record and 5.12 ERA in 13 career starts against the Yankees, which includes a 1-1 mark and 8.74 ERA in two outings inside this ball park.
It should be a memorable day in the Bronx, but everyone involved is hoping that the 39-year-old southpaw can solidify a starting rotation that has been shaky at best to start the year.
If not—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman will need to actively pursue a front-line pitcher before the trade deadline on July 31, or the club will likely be watching the postseason from home.
Follow on Twitter: @JeffGrantSports
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!