When we last saw the Orioles, they were walking back to their dugout, having just been swept by the Yankees in the second series of the year for both squads. The Fightin’ Showalters have been hot ever since the end of that series, going 10-5 since the Yankees left the Charm City. In that span, though, they’ve scored 60 runs while allowing 58, so they’ve been a little above where their pythag record says they should’ve been (8 wins). Regardless, they’re playing good ball right now. Coming into Sunday, they had three players with wOBAs over .400 and wRC+s over 150 (Matt Weiters: .402/155; Adam Jones: .426/171; and Nolan Reimold: .447/185). Chris Davis isn’t far behind with a .393/149 split of his own. We should note, though, that Reimold and Davis have walk/strikeout rates of 3.3%/21.3% and 5.6%/23.9% respectively. They’re crushing the ball (.339 and .269 IsoP respectively), but this type of success looks a little unsustainable for those two.
On the pitching side of things, Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen are off to hot starts, posting E/F/x marks of 1.73/2.45/2.79 and 2.22/3.57/4.52 respectively. Jake Arrieta has been serviceable (4.07 FIP), while Brian Matusz is still looking to find his way. The O’s actually have three relievers, Luis Ayala, Jim Johnson, and Matt Lindstrom, who have ERAs of 0.00.
The O’s will send the aforementioned Hammel, Matusz, and Arrieta to the mound for the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday series. The Yankees will counter with Hiroki Kuroda–looking to keep it rolling after a fantastic start against the Rangers–Phil Hughes, once again looking to right his ship, and Ivan Nova, looking for a bounceback start after a “meh” outing against the Detroit Tigers on Friday night. This seems like a good matchup for the strikeout-centric Kuroda, as the O’s have the second highest strikeout percentage in the A.L. This should also help Nova and his new found strikeout tendencies.
A three game series at home against Baltimore is always a good thing for the Yankees. Like most of the time at home, they SHOULD take two out of the three games in this series before rolling into Kansas City for a four game set to begin May.
Note: As of my writing this (a little before noon on Sunday), Nick Johnson has still not recorded a hit for the Orioles (.000/.133/.000; .103 wOBA; -49 wRC+).