Prepare for some hit-by-pitch action. The starters tonight are Jeremy Guthrie and A.J. Burnett. Naturally, if Guthrie dares to strike a Yankees batter, we will hear significant whining from Joe Girardi, whom for the balance of this series I will be referring to solely as Joe Douche. And speaking of douches, there's Burnett, who has that necklace, and I mean, come on.
Burnett is a dude who walks a lot of batters, which won't be much of a problem for him when he's playing against the Orioles. But he has a 4.21 BB/9 which is fairly remarkable. That is a higher walk rate than control-challenged Jake Arrieta, for instance. He's also surrendered 18 home runs in 130.1 IP. Is that bad luck or is that a pitching style that doesn't get along with Yankee Stadium? I don't know. His 4.21 ERA is the worst of all Yankees who've started at least 10 games.
On the other side we've got Guthrie going for the Orioles. I would make a big deal out of how this might be Guthrie's last game in an O's uniform if I actually had any belief that he is going to be traded, which I don't. This isn't Guthrie's best year, with him sporting a 4.33 ERA. He doesn't deserve the 4-14 record he has, but it's not like he "should" be 9-9 either. He's the Orioles' Opening Day starter and his ERA is worse than the composite starter ERA of all but six teams, and one of those teams is the Orioles, for whom he is, of course, the #1 starter. O's starters as a whole are sporting a 5.05 ERA, which is remarkably not the worst in MLB, but it is the third-worst. They have pitched the fewest innings, nearly 40 below even the second-worst team in this regard.
Then we have the hitters. The O's hitters are, in aggregate, not completely incompetent when compared to their peers. In fact, they are middle of the pack for BA and OBP and slightly above the middle for SLG. However, the Yankees have the best walk rate in baseball and the second-best OBP and third-best SLG. There are two positions where the O's are superior offensively, and those are shortstop (wide margin) and catcher (slim margin). Well, if I had a $207 million payroll, I'd expect that to be the case as well - except I'm a little scared to think of how the O's would misspend that staggering amount of cash.
This is the first of a four-game set with a doubleheader coming tomorrow. It is the most favorable pitching matchup for the Orioles. But since they hate Jeremy Guthrie I expect Burnett to throw a complete game shutout.
|Orioles (J. Guthrie - R) @ Yankees (A. Burnett - R)|