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Series Preview: Yankees @ Orioles (28-30 June)

After splitting a four-game series with the Cleveland Indians, the O's wrap up a 7-game homestand with three against the Yankees. McFarland, Britton, and Tillman for the O's. Phelps, Sabathia, and Kuroda for the Yanks.

Jonathan Ernst

After a series split with Cleveland, the O's remain 3.5 games back of the Boston Red Sox. Right behind them at 4.5 back lie the New York Yankees. Perfect time to build some cushion, no?

Friday, 28 June: T.J. McFarland vs. David Phelps
Career Numbers McFarland vs. Yankees Phelps vs. O's
IP 2.0 17.2
ERA 0.00 4.08
FIP 1.63 5.23
Slash Line (Past Teams) .143/.250/.143 .226/.342/.377
Slash Line (Current Players) .200/.200/.200 .275/.373/.431

After 18 relief appearances so far this season, Timothy will make his first career start. He has 2 innings of relief against the Yankees already this season. The idea behind this move is that the Yankees don't hit very well against lefties, but Kevin Gausman will be available for long relief just in case. Interesting move....hope it works out. Just 5 players in the potential lineup have ABs against T.J., with Jayson Nix grabbing the only hit. The above statistics are for relief appearances only.

David Phelps will make his 3rd career start against the Orioles. His team OPS is slightly higher at Camden Yards than his overall numbers, so that's promising. What's not promising is that he seems to have such solid numbers against the O's without really having great numbers overall. FIP and OBP are high because he walks hitters in bunches, but I'd expect them to hit better than .226 against this guy. The current players line looks better, but only J.J. Hardy has reached 10 PA (1.056 OPS).

Saturday, 29 June: Zach Britton vs CC Sabathia
Career Numbers Britton vs. Yankees Sabathia vs. O's
IP 25.1 190.1
ERA 7.82 3.12
FIP 4.09 3.45
Slash Line (Past Teams) .330/.408/.417 .245/.292/.361
Slash Line (Current Players) .333/.344/.467 .277/.305/.428

Zach Britton has yet to solve the Yankee lineup. Granted, he hasn't faced many of these guys thanks to all of the injuries, but his numbers are not good. FIP says he's a bit better than his raw numbers, mostly because he's allowed just 1 home run in 25 innings. His K/BB ratio is essentially 1:1. Only Robinson Cano has 10+ PA against Britton among the "assorted veteran mash-up" lineup.

Historically, CC has pitched well against the Orioles, but as was noted in a series preview from April, the Oriole lineup has continued to increase in skill. More recent numbers against Sabathia are much better. Additionally, CC has not pitched entirely well at Camden Yards over his career. He did not fare well in his most recent outing against the O's back in May.

Maybe hot: J.J. Hardy (.344/.344/.625 in 32 PA)

Likely not: Matt Wieters (.555 OPS, 39 PA) **Side note: Taylor Teagarden is 0-5 lifetime against CC

Sunday, 30 June: Chris Tillman vs. Hiroki Kuroda
Career Numbers Tillman vs. Yankees Kuroda vs. O's
IP 28.2 26.1
ERA 8.16 3.42
FIP 5.51 4.44
Slash Line (Past Teams) .367/.434/.539 .255/.265/.398
Slash Line (Current Players) .293/.369/.534 .246/.275/.418

This is easily the best pitching match-up of the series, regardless of the fact that Chris Tillman has been absolutely hammered by the Yankees in 28.2 innings. BABIP might have something to do with it (.416), but the raw numbers aren't good. Cano and Lyle Overbay have been pretty devastating to Tillman's numbers, both with OPS greater than 1.300. Let's hope for #stafface instead, yes?

Kuroda's numbers against the O's are pretty solid, as long as he's not at Camden Yards. He's made one start at the Orioles home yard and lasted just 2 innings, allowing 5 ER. Mark Reynolds used to do most of the damage off of this guy, but both Nick Markakis and Chris Davis have solid recent outings. Fun fact: Kuroda has walked just 1 batter when facing the O's (both Davis and Ishikawa walked against him on different teams) and that one batter is Adam Jones.

Maybe hot: Nick Markakis (1.000 OPS, 13 PA), Chris Davis (.905 OPS, 18 PA)

Likely not:J.J. Hardy (.389 OPS, 18 PA)