The Orioles face long odds in the only night game of this three-game series against the Yankees. Tonight they are up against C.C. Sabathia, who, unlike a certain other high-priced Yankees free agent acquisition we saw pitching yesterday, has actually done something to earn the big dollars that the Yankees shelled out for him. Sabathia's already thrown 200+ innings with a 3.02 ERA on the season. That's been good enough to rack up a gaudy 19-5 W-L record, which is surely helped by playing for the Yankees, but in this day and age, if you're pitching in the AL East with an ERA of about 3, you're probably doing something right for yourself too.
That has a lot to do with ESPN's Accuscore simulator putting the Yankees at 79% favorites to win this game. That's one of the most lopsided numbers I've seen. He's been even better at home. In 99.1 IP in New Yankee Stadium he's racked up a 2.27 ERA and has won his last 16 decisions there going back to July of last year. Yikes.
It's not all bleak though, because there's four Orioles who have at least .350 OBP against Sabathia in their career. That group is constituted of Ty Wigginton, Brian Roberts, Adam Jones and Nolan Reimold. Hopefully we'll see the latter, considering his numbers are the best, with a 1.009 OPS in 16 PA against Sabathia.
Pitching for the Orioles is Jake Arrieta. I'm never really sure what to write about a Jake start because there's no way of knowing what he's going to do. We can probably figure he won't go for much longer than 5 innings given that he has not demonstrated a great knack for putting hitters away, and the Yankees lineup is known for taking a lot of pitches. I'd sure like to see him put together a good outing though, because the O's are going to need it against the likes of Sabathia.
Empire state of mind? I'll take an old line state of being any time, thank you very much. Go O's!