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Series Preview: Orioles @ Yankees

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Baltimore Orioles (14-8, T-1st AL East) @ New York Yankees (12-9, 3rd AL East)

After a series win versus the Oakland and a 5-1 homestand, the Orioles head north to New York to kick off a fairly brutal month of baseball. Over the next 15 days, the Orioles will play the Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Rays, and Yankees (again). Now we get to see just what kind of team the O’s really are. Will they stay or will they go?

The O’s we’re swept at home by the Yankees in early April and will look to repay the favor up in the Bronx. All things considered, the Orioles didn’t play that poorly, but will need a significant increase in offense this time around (10 runs over 3 games previously). Luckily, the O’s will face the pitching to do such a thing. Kuroda and Hughes have been extremely beatable this season. Nova, while 3-0, sports an ERA over 5. Can the Orioles take advantage? They’ll counter with Hammel, Matusz, and Arrieta. Another 10 run game couldn’t hurt either….

All night games for this one. They’ll be at 7:05pm on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before the off-day on Thursday. Game 3 (Wednesday) will be on ESPN in case anyone is interested.

Game 1 (Monday @ 7:05pm):

Probable Pitchers:

BAL – Jason Hammel (RHP, 3-0, 1.73 ERA)

NYY – Hiroki Kuroda (RHP, 1-3, 4.38 ERA)

Scouting Report:

Came over to the American League this season after several with the Dodgers in the NL. Throws a low-90s sinker and generates groundballs over 50 percent of the time. Also has a fastball, slider, curve, and splitter. Use of the slider and curve are up from a year ago.

Key Stats:

Mark Reynolds is the only Oriole with any significant time against Kuroda. Naturally, he’s just 4-21 with 9 strikeouts. Overall, the Orioles are just 6 for 32 off of Kuroda. The Yankees, on the other hand, have hit Jason Hammel very, very well. Alex Rodriguez is 6-15 with 4 HR and 9 RBI. Derek Jeter is 4-13, Raul Ibanez 5-13, and Robinson Cano 4 for 14. All three have a HR.

Game 2 (Tuesday @ 7:05pm):

Probable Pitchers:

BAL – Brian Matusz (LHP, 0-3, 5.66 ERA)

NYY – Phil Hughes (RHP, 1-3, 7.88 ERA)

Scouting Report:

Good K/9 inning number, but that’s about it from Hughes. Throws a fastball, curveball, change, and cutter. Velocity gets into the mid-90s (fastball) and can dip into the mid-70s (curve). Righties are crushing Hughes right now (they’re off to a .357/.400/.690 line). That’s off from his career statistics, as lefties have generally had more success.

Key Stats:

Nick Markakis has the best numbers from the Oriole lineup. He’s 10-29 with 3 doubles, a HR, and 6 RBI. Adam Jones is just 4-22, but does have a HR. Brian Matusz’s first start this season came against the Yankees. He went 4 innings and gave up 4 earned runs. The Yankees have hit him well overall. Derek Jeter is 11 for 22 while Robinson Cano is 9 for 22. Andruw Jones is 7-14 with 2 HR and 8 RBI off of Luis Ayala. He also has homers off of Matt Lindstrom and Darren O’Day.

Game 3 (Wednesday @ 7:05pm)

Probable Pitchers:

BAL – Jake Arrieta (RHP, 1-2, 4.45 ERA)

NYY – Ivan Nova (RHP, 3-0, 5.18 ERA)

Scouting Report:

Relies mostly on three pitches (four-seam fastball, curveball, change-up). Added a slider this past season, but does not use it often (just 3.7 percent of his pitches). Has been using it more in 2012, however. Fastball sits in the low 90s. Keeps the majority of his pitches away, but came in on lefties with the slider.

Key Stats:

Nova held the O’s to 2 runs in his first start this season while striking out 7. He did allow 10 hits, however. Matt Wieters is 5 for 11 with 2 home runs. Nick Markakis and Adam Jones also have 4 hits apiece. Jake Arrieta has also started against the Yankees this year. Like Matusz, he allowed 4 earned runs (although over 6 innings). Mark Teixeira (6 for 16), Derek Jeter (6 for 15), and Curtis Granderson (5 for 16) all have good numbers vs. Arrieta. Granderson also has 2 HRs. Arrieta has kept Robbie Cano (3 for 15) in check, however