Whether you like it or hate it, interleague play is here to stay.
We know not all the games are intriguing matchups like Mets – Yankees, Cubs – White Sox, or even Red Sox – Phillies. You also have to see San Francisco at Kansas City and Texas at Washington.
When making your lineup for next week, however, here’s some players you may want to consider. If history is any indication, these players thrive on interleague play.
1. Hideki Matsui, Yankees — Godzilla loves playing against the National League. He has a 1.034 OPS during interleague play versus .858 overall. The Yankees host the Padres and Reds at home this week so the DH will be in effect.
2. Richie Sexson, Mariners — Sexson hit six homers last year in 63 at bats against the National League.
3. Jim Thome, White Sox — He’s the major league leader in homeruns since interleague play began in 2007. Thome, at .219 with 13 homers, is not off to a great start, but a series at home against the Pirates and then a visit to Wrigley might get him started.
4. Derek Jeter, Yankees — Coming into the 2008 season, Jeter was the all-time interleague leader in hits with 254. That’s 33 more than his nearest pursuant, A-Rod.
5. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox — I know, what category doesn’t Manny lead in over the past ten years. He’s third in homers (46) and first in RBI (139).