Previewing Yankees Vs. Orioles: First Of Two Quickies In Baltimore

This would normally be the point in the preview where I tell you something like “hey, they’re getting lucky. Here are some complicated, impenetrable numbers that I will tell you mean that they’re getting lucky, and you should just believe me when I say that because I’m a guy with a computer.” Here’s my usual progression in graphic form, courtesy of Graham MacAree and SBNation:

But I don’t feel like doing that song-and-dance today (and yes, this is because the 97-degree Spanish heat has fried my brain, thanks for asking).

Instead, here’s a list of things that the Orioles are doing correctly:

  1. Hitting the ball hard. Adam Jones, Matt Weiters, and Nolan Reimold all have wOBAs over .387. Yikes.
  2. Jason Hammel.
  3. Realizing that Mark Reynolds is pretty much just the worst, and finally platooning him.
  4. Not giving up home runs. Only one of their starters (Tommy Hunter) has a HR/FB rate higher than the ML average (around 12-14%–Jake Arrieta is at 14%).
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Previewing Yankees Vs. Mariners: The Second Coming Of Jesús

I imagine you’ve probably heard that joke a couple hundred million times already, but I just had to get it in. Then, I realized that I could only fit it into this article if I lead with it, as I’m pretty much going to spend the next couple hundred words talking about Jesus. Montero, that is. (Before we meander any farther down this train of thought, pause to mourn the fact that we won’t get to see any Jesús Montero/Jesus puns on the back pages of the New York dailies).

In all seriousness, this will be Montero’s first series against the Yankees, and I have no doubt at all that he will be looking to remind the Yankee brass what they’re missing. Not that they need reminding—all they have to do is look down at Michael Pineda, arm in a sling, sitting in plain clothes with his parents in the stands.

So far this year, Montero has been mediocre: his .268/.282/.420 triple slash line is uninspiring, as is his .298 wOBA.… Click here to read the rest

Previewing Yankees Vs. Rays: Vengeance Is A Dish Best Served, Well, At Home, Apparently

In other impressive streak-related news (and I do think that this should be a required drop-down menu on any major baseball website), with a win tonight, James Shields would tie Scott Kazmir’s record for consecutive wins as a Ray (and the magic number is…6! Come on down!). And while I’m all for watching history being made, there are a good number of reasons why I don’t think this will happen want to witness this: (1) James Shields has a lifetime 2-6 record, with a 5.05 ERA in Yankee Stadium (2) I don’t want the Rays to win (3) I want the Yankees to win (4) the Rays have, despite “their recent dominance of New York,” only two wins in their last eight games in the Bronx (5) after being chronically underappreciated in the offseason, the Rays are now over-hyped (in this author’s exceedingly un-humble opinion) and (6) Ivan Nova has been good against the Rays, holding a 2-0 record in four starts with a 3.47 ERA (his last outing against Tampa was a 7 and two-thirds inning shutout gem).… Click here to read the rest

Previewing Yankees Vs. Orioles: CC…And Who?

Here are some statistics that might interest you: the Yankees are in the top 5 in every meaningful batting category. Seriously, don’t bother worrying about that. Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes, and Ivan Nova have averaged a 16.44% HR/FB rate combined. Over their careers, they’ve averaged 9.4%. The three “and who?” guys have averaged a .369 BABIP in 2012; their career average (combined) sits around .290. Their 2012 ERAs are 4.38 (Kuroda), 7.88 (Hughes), and 5.18 (Nova); their 2012 xFIPs and SIERAs (two fielding-independent statistics that tend to be predictive of future ERA) are 3.85 and 4.00 (Kuroda), 4.68 and 3.91 (Hughes), and 3.13 and 3.13 (Nova). I’m not saying that these three guys are lighting the world on fire every time they go out there. But I am saying that they haven’t been a) nearly as bad as some media members might have you think, and b) not as bad as their superficial numbers indicate.

Does this mean they’re going to be world-beaters in 2012?… Click here to read the rest