Wednesday Night Open Thread

Earlier today MLB released the 2015 All-Star Game ballot. Here’s the ballot. It’s all online this year. No more paper ballots at the ballpark. The Yankees are represented at every position by exactly who you’d expect. MLB just picks each team’s starter at each position and puts them on the ballot. This is where I remind you it is your duty as an RAB reader … nay, your duty as an American to vote Alex Rodriguez into the All-Star Game this year. The voting is open until July 3rd.

Here is your open thread for the evening. This afternoon’s loss to the Rays will be replayed on YES at 7pm ET, if you’re interested. The Mets are playing, ESPN is showing Phillies-Cardinals, and there’s both NBA and NHL playoff action as well. Talk about those games or anything else right here.

Contest!: Our friends at TiqIQ are giving away a part of tickets to one of the upcoming bobblehead games. Enter the contest using the widget below.

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TiqIQ: Subway Series This Weekend Carries High Prices on Secondary Market

This upcoming weekend, the Mets and Yankees will get together at Yankee Stadium for the first Subway Series of the season, and it comes at a very interesting time for both in-state rivals. The Mets are in the midst a remarkable run, having won 10 in a row entering Thursday and actually have the best record in the National League. The Yankees, on the other hand, struggled a bit out of the gate, but have righted the ship since, with wins in five of their last six, including a sweep of fellow AL East division tenant Tampa Bay on the road.

The drama is always high when both New York baseball clubs meet, and now it’s expected to reach even higher levels as they clash in this crucial early-season three-game set. Below the three pitching matchups, along with ticket information pertaining to each contest is broken down. It is interesting to note that for each of these three games fans can find cheaper tickets on Yankees.com than comparable seats on the secondary market. A few examples are highlighted below.

4/24 Jacob deGrom vs Michael Pineda | Yankees.com 100-level (Section 126) pricing: $225 | Secondary market 100-level (Section 126) pricing: $333 | Average price: $149.73

When the Mets and Yankees kick off the latest chapter in their rivalry on Friday night, they’ll be doing so with a couple of brilliant youngsters on the hill. Jacob deGrom gets the ball in game one for the Mets, and the reigning National League Rookie of the Year has been outstanding in the early going, being 2-1 with a microscopic 0.93 ERA. He’s gone at least six strong innings in each start, displaying the same consistency that led him to his award last season, and he also has an impressive 17/3 K/BB ratio in his 19.1 innings of work. Michael Pineda will be his opponent, and while he hasn’t jumped out to the same type of dominant start as his counterpart, he’s still looked pretty good nonetheless, posting an even more impressive 20/2 K/BB ratio in his three starts, while logging at least six innings in each start as well. Fans wanting to see how the series will commence can get a better deal at Yankees.com for tickets, in which you could get seats in section 126 for a relatively reasonable $225. By comparison, seats in the same section draw a $333 price tag on the secondary market. With both starters having the potential to overpower any given lineup, this should be a great opener that could set the tone for the rest of the series.

4/25 Matt Harvey vs C.C. Sabathia | Yankees.com 100-level (Section 135) pricing: $80 | Secondary market 100-level (Section 135) pricing: $139 | Average price: $209.18

Unsurprisingly, the second game of the series features the highest average ticket price and get-in price of all three contests, not just because it’s Brett Gardner Kids Replica Bat Giveaway, but also largely because Matt Harvey will be on the mound for the Mets. “The Dark Knight” made his much-heavily anticipated return to the big leagues this season after missing more than a year due to Tommy John surgery, and he’s performed thus far as if he never left. Harvey is 3-0 through three starts with a 3.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and has racked up an impressive 24 punch-outs in only 18 innings of work, as he’s gone exactly six innings in each outing. C.C. Sabathia, meanwhile, was once in the place occupied by Harvey on the Yankees’ side of things, as a consistent ace that fans could count on perennially. He’s fallen off in recent years, but is enjoying a bit of a renaissance so far in 2015, despite an undeserving 0-3 record. Sabathia currently has a 4.35 ERA and 1.26 WHIP, which are his best marks since 2012, and he’s coming off an especially strong start in which he shut down an impressive Tigers lineup over eight innings, limiting them to only two runs, so his confidence is returning to normal. As a result, this will be an interesting pitching matchup that somewhat highlights the new sheriff in town being pitted against the old guard. This high-profile matchup also appears to have better ticket deals on Yankees.com, where one can purchase tickets in section 135 for an affordable $80, compared to a much more inflated $139 for tickets in the same section on the secondary market.

4/26 Jon Niese vs Nathan Eovaldi | Yankees.com 200-level (Section 234) pricing: $55 | Secondary market 200-level (Section 234) pricing: $89 | Average price: $111.04

For the series finale on Sunday, it’s a battle between two completely different pitchers, as left-hander Jon Niese, someone who relies on precision and location, takes on powerful righty Nathan Eovaldi, one of the hardest throwers in all of baseball. In fact, Eovaldi is ranked amongst the upper echelon of baseball in hardest average fastball, consistently clocking in the mid-to-upper 90’s MPH. In his first season with the Yankees, the 25-year-old flamethrower has been solid, being 1-0 in three starts with a 3.12 ERA, while racking up 14 strikeouts in 17-plus innings of work. However, when he was with the Marlins last year, Eovaldi faced the Mets twice and was shelled to the tune of a 7.15 ERA, allowing nine runs on 11 hits. Niese, on the other hand, has been a little more consistent, and has actually been one of the Mets’ best pitchers in the early going. Heading into this fourth start of the year, he’s 2-0 with a sparkling 1.50 ERA, although he also has a far-from-shiny 1.56 WHIP as well. The contrasting styles of both pitchers should help create a compelling final game of the series, which could end up deciding who takes this three- game set. For those wanting to see how the series wraps up, Yankees.com has better deals for tickets, such as in section 234, where you can buy tickets for just $55. On the secondary market, tickets for that same section will fetch a price of $89, which is more than 50% higher than the aforementioned Yankees.com pricing.

TiqIQ: As Resellers Look to Capitalize on Yankees-Red Sox Games, Yankees.com Has Cheapest Available Tickets

The rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees is one of the best in sports. Even though the Red Sox and Yankees both missed the playoffs in 2014, the archrivals are sure to draw huge crowds when they face each other for the first time this season on April 10-12 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Fans wanting to score tickets for those games might think their best bet is the secondary market, but they should think again.

Many of the tickets for those three games currently available for purchase directly from the Yankees ticket office are considerably less expensive than the same or comparable seats on the secondary market. This seems unusual as fans often believe tickets cost less on the secondary market, where ticket buyers and season ticket holders try to resell their tickets, than on the primary market.

While fans have been trained to target resellers first to get the best deal on tickets, Yankees fans who want to see their team play the Red Sox in the first homestand of the year should reconsider.

For example, at the time of this writing, Field Level seats (Section 130, Row 21) for the opener of the three-game Yankees vs. Red Sox series are available for $100 apiece directly from the Yankees box office. Meanwhile, a Field Level seat for the same game on the secondary market is currently listed at $118 for comparable seats.

200-Level seats (Section 234, Row 2) for the same game can be purchased from the team for $55. Tickets are listed for 55% more ($85) from ticket resellers in Rows 1 and 2.

Fans wanting to sit in the Terrace Level (Section 333, Row 7) would be looking at a price of $32 per ticket from the Yankees. The secondary market has prices at $32 on the low end, but most are $40 and up.

Finally, seats in the Grandstand Level (Section 431B, Row 1) offered by resellers are going for $35, which is more than 50% more for the the same tickets being offered by the team ($22). Similar deals are available for the Saturday Yankees-Red Sox game as well.

The difference in price between the primary and secondary markets does not only apply to the upcoming games the Yankees will play against the Red Sox. These deals are consistently available throughout the Yankees home schedule in April and May.

Derek Jeter has retired and the Yankees missed the postseason the last two years, a rarity for them. Similarly, the Red Sox are without an ace pitcher and they are coming off a last-place finish in 2014. Still, fans can expect big crowds when these two teams meet in the Bronx in April. For those wanting to be among them, then buying tickets directly from the Yankees is the way to go.

TiqIQ: Best 2015 Yankees ticket deals are not necessarily on the secondary market

Yankees tickets1After saying goodbye to legendary closer Mariano Rivera in 2013 and “The Captain” Derek Jeter last year, the 2015 Yankees are hoping to contend with a combination of next generation anchors like Dellin Betances, Masahiro Tanaka, and Didi Gregorius as well as a cast of veterans like Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira. Based on prices in the secondary market, fans are looking forward to the next chapter in Yankees history. The current average price for tickets across the 2015 season is $130 on the secondary market, 21% higher than last year’s average.

Like years past, the most expensive games are against familiar teams such as the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets. Over the past 15 years, the secondary market has been the go-to source for fans looking to get the best deal. While that’s still the case for some events, fans looking to get the best deal on tickets will be better off going directly to Yankees.com.

In April and May, for 18 of the 22 home games, Yankees.com has the lowest prices in at least one seating level compared to the secondary market. For that same period, there’s a cheaper 300-level option from the team for 68% of the games. That’s the case for 100 level seats for 45% of the games. For the first Yankees-Red Sox game on April 11th, you can find a 100-level tickets on Yankees.com for $110, which is well below the $144 that they will cost on the secondary market. There are even a limited amount 100-level Opening Day seats against Toronto that are available for $77 less than by going directly to the team’s websites. In the 300-level you can find primary tickets for $80 compared to $179 on the secondary market.

Here are three other notable games where going directly to the box office will be your best bet:

April 24 vs. Mets

100-level tickets available at $225 on Yankees.com compared to $339 on the secondary market. 400-level seats for $22 directly from the team compared to $48 on the secondary market.

April 25 vs. Mets

100-level tickets available for $80 on Yankees.com compared to $121 on the secondary market.

200-level tickets from the team for $155 compared to $220 on the secondary market.

April 29 vs. Tampa Bay

100-level tickets available for $225 compared to $277 on the secondary market.

In addition to pricing more efficiently this year, there are also a host of promotional nights like MasterCard $5 nights, of which there are four over the first month of the season. You can see those all here and see the grid below which we put together to help Yankees fans make sure they’re getting the best deals to get out to Yankees Stadium.

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TiqIQ: Ticket prices sky high with Jeter’s final home game looming

A guest post from our friends at TiqIQ:

The end is near, for both the 2014 Yankees and the career of The Captain. With playoff hopes dwindling, the Yankees will host their final homestand of the season over the next week, playing four games each with the Blue Jays and the recently crowned AL East champion Baltimore Orioles. Like with Mariano Rivera’s retirement last season, there will be a known finality with the Yankees unlikely to claim a postseason spot. Derek Jeter has had a forgettable season statistically, but his final game at Yankee Stadium has already generated astronomical secondary market prices for New York Yankees tickets in the Bronx for Thursday’s game against Baltimore.

As Jeter says goodbye to the Yankee faithful one week from yesterday, the game will serve as the most expensive regular season game in Major League Baseball this season. According to TiqIQ, the average price for Jeter’s final home game on September 25 is currently $668.94 on the secondary market. The team’s second most expensive remaining home game on Monday pales in price comparison to next Thursday’s game. At $104.12, Monday’s game against the Orioles is nearly 85% less expensive than the final game at Yankee Stadium this season. Thursday’s average price is 542% above the series opener against the Orioles on Monday.

On top of its extreme secondary market average, the final regular season game at Yankee Stadium currently has a get-in price of $212, making even the minimum ticket price to the game 103% higher than the second most expensive game’s average on Monday. Such high prices for the final game makes the other remaining seven home games seem like a relative steal on the secondary market. Of those games, the most expensive get-in price was $15 for last night’s series opener against Toronto.

TiqIQ: Multiple Player Ceremonies Lead Most Expensive Yankees Promotions

From our friends at TiqIQ:

All season the New York Yankees have found a way to stay competitive. With the amount of injuries they have sustained, especially in the starting rotation, it would not have been surprising if they had one of the worst records in the league, but somehow they’ve remained above .500 all season. Currently they are second in the AL East with a 60-54 record, despite losing four of their five original starting pitchers to injuries. That’s especially shocking for a team that was realistically expected to struggle offensively. But there is one area the team hasn’t struggled, and that is with ticket sales for games at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees are always one of the most expensive tickets in the league, and the only team that has been close to them this year is the Boston Red Sox. For the remainder of the season the Yankees have an average ticket price on the secondary market of $131.43, while most teams fail to even come close to the $100 mark. The league average is about $80 but most teams are lower. That number would be a lot lower if it weren’t for the Yankees and Red Sox.

Part of the reason New York Yankees tickets are so expensive is because of Derek Jeter’s impending retirement, but some promotions have also led to the hefty price tags. The next home series for the Yankees is this weekend against the Cleveland Indians. The Indians are no slouch, but they are currently third in the AL Central and a game under .500 at 57-58. Still the cheapest game of the series is $113.03. The most expensive game of the series is $176.61, and it also happens to be a game in which Paul O’Neill will have a plaque dedicated in Monument Park on Saturday.

Similarly the most expensive game for a September series against the Toronto Blue Jays has a promotion. The series is a four-game set from the 18-21, with the game on the 21 the only one with a giveaway. The first 10,000 guests 14 and younger will receive a limited edition Yankees bear beanie baby with the number “2” stitched in to celebrate Jeter. Tickets for that game are averaging $145.57, while the first game of the series is just $91.62.

From August 22-24 they play a Chicago White Sox team that isn’t anywhere close to contention. One the 22nd tickets are averaging $100.54, and on the 24th tickets are just $95.31, but on the 23rd the average is $139.48. But there is a big event on that day, with the Yankees retiring Joe Torre’s No. 6. But that pales in comparison to the game on September 7 against the Kansas City Royals. Tickets are currently averaging $543.42, with a special Derek Jeter ceremony scheduled for the day.

Despite everything they’ve had to deal with, the Yankees still have a chance at the postseason berth. But that’s just part of the reason Yankees tickets have been among the most expensive in the league this year. One of the big reasons seems to be all the promotions the team is having, especially those centered around their most popular players.

Six-game flex plan ticket giveaway with TiqIQ

Our friends at TiqIQ are giving away a pair of tickets to your choice of six 2014 Yankees games included in the flex plan package. The list of available games is right here. All you have to do to enter the giveaway contest is either login through Facebook or enter your email address in the widget below and follow the steps. That’s it. It only takes a few seconds and requires minimal brainpower. Friday is the deadline to enter, so get on it. Good luck.