With the Orioles set to play their second series against the Yankees in the span of a week, I put my head together with my good friend Tanya Bondurant, manager of Pinstriped Bible, to make some random predictions about things that might occur in the series. Please feel free to share your own guesses, and offer your own scenarios for others to predict as well, in the comments section.
We have each offered our own guesses for each question. If you're curious what Yankees fans predict for these same questions, you can check out their thoughts on their blog. Please play nice, or Tanya will ban you and I will get mad.
WHICH WILL BE HIGHER IN THE SERIES?
Tanya: Cano enters this series batting .538/.586/1.077 with four homers over his last seven games. Robbie's swing is made for Yankee Stadium and he's on fire right now. I take Cano.
Mark: Cano seems to love hitting against Orioles pitching, but Machado is due after a double-less White Sox series. I say Manny.
2. Ichiro infield hits vs. Wieters runners thrown out?
Tanya: Ichiro does have 18 infield hits this season even though he has lost a step at his advanced age and Brett Gardner has only stolen 11 bases successfully in 2013. Machado has a great arm that may limit infield hit possibilities and the Yankees may try to be aggressive on the bases, so I'll go with Wieters.
Mark: Running on Matt Wieters, who has thrown out 13 of 32 runners this year, is inadvisable. Then again, an infield with Machado and J.J. Hardy should not give up many infield hits. There is always the chance Ichiro will bunt a ball at Chris Tillman. I will say one apiece. Push.
Tanya: The Yankees are not great at holding runners on but I am constantly in awe of Robertson's curveball when it is is working like it has been recently. It's not difficult to imagine him striking out all three batters he'd face in one game this weekend and adding 1-2 more in a second game, so I'll take Robertson
Mark: In spite of his upcoming Base Bandit t-shirt giveaway night, McLouth has not stolen a base since June 19. Robertson could easily strike out the side in one inning with his curveball that certain bloggers want to marry, so I'm going with him.
Tanya: Luis Cruz had a negative wRC+ with the Dodgers this season and David Adams only has five hits in his last 40 at-bats. I'm not inspired. Even though Jones doesn't walk and Markakis doesn't strikeout, I don't have enough faith in the probable pitchers for New York or the duo of struggling batters to take their side in the matter. I'm taking Jones and Markakis for this one.
Mark: Who is Luis Cruz? He sounds like someone who sucks, meaning O's pitchers will find a way to walk him three times. Jones went a geological era between walks and Markakis is one of the hardest batters to strike out. I'm going with the Yankees guys on this one.
5. Home runs allowed by Orioles pitchers vs. Brett Gardner hits?
Tanya: Gardner's torrid pace has slowed a bit over the last three series, but he's still one of the Yankees' best hitters. Cano is hot and the Orioles hitters love giving up the long ball, which is always a danger when playing in Yankee Stadium. That being said, Cano is pretty much the only hitter I trust to hit one out right now and I don't see him out-homering Gardner's hit total.
Mark: Orioles pitchers have allowed more home runs than any other team in MLB. Yankee Stadium is Yankee Stadium. Unless Gardner somehow goes 6-7 in a 15-inning game, bank on the Orioles giving up more home runs.
6. How many home runs will Chris Davis hit in the series?
Mark: Davis is good for two. One thanks to an ill-advised Girardi bullpen misfire and one thanks to Hughes.
7. Who will be the batter with the most total bases?
Tanya: Robinson Cano! Enters the series on a tear and has six XBH against Orioles starters scheduled to pitch this series.
Mark: If I was feeling optimistic about the Orioles, I'd say Davis. You know better than to expect optimism from me. This will be Cano.
Tanya: I don't know if I trust Johnson or the Yankee offense's ability to get a save situation for Mo less. Johnson leads Rivera by one right now, and I think that will be true when the series ends as well.
Mark: Johnson has a one-save advantage. I think both closers will get one save in this series, keeping the season's saves leader in MLB on top.
9. Which starting pitcher will have the longest outing in the series?
Tanya: Orioles pitchers haven't been known for pitching deep into games from what I've gathered from Mark this season. I will go out on a major limb and say Hughes ends up with the longest outing because he's pitched well of late. Maybe he'll reward my faith.
Mark: After watching the O's hitters flail against lefties in Chicago, it's hard not to see anything other than a complete game from Andy Pettitte as the winner.
10. How many games will the Boston Red Sox lose during their Friday-Sunday series?
Tanya: Zero. Angels are worthless.
Mark: This one is easy: zero. Just to spite us all. West coast teams are useless.
What do you think?