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Game 81: Yankees (42-36) @ Orioles (44-36), 7:05

The Yankees would do well to watch out for nail guns and vacant rowhouses.

Duane Burleson

As the Yankees venture south into Baltimore, it's always worth revisiting what Chris and Snoop from The Wire have to say about Yankee fans. I would link you to the youtube video of the classic "Where's your Yankee pride at now?" scene, but it turns out the legality of said video is questionable and it no longer exists. But if you have seen the show (and if you haven't, what is wrong with you?) then you know what happened to those who came too far south for they own good.

There is also a little bit of difficulty swaggering in here and talking a bunch of trash about the Yankees when the starting pitching matchup tonight is CC Sabathia against T.J. McFarland. I mean, really. McFarland has thrown 41.1 innings at the MLB level. Sabathia threw more innings than that before his 21st birthday. He has faced over eleven thousand batters in his career. He has twice as many complete games as McFarland has games. He has never had an ERA+ below 100.

One encouraging sign is that Sabathia is giving up hits and home runs at a greater rate than any season of his career to date. That may be because of offseason surgery sapping his velocity, but that has been steadily returning, though whether it availed him any is another story: he has a 5.10 ERA in his June outings, though some of this may be bad luck (the Wil Myers Yankee Stadium Special grand slam) as his OPS allowed is the lowest this month of any month this season - .700.

And then there's McFarland, and it's pretty much impossible to feel good about a game between the Orioles and the Yankees when you know that the O's starter has a fastball that tops out at like 90 mph. According to Fangraphs, it has averaged 87.8 mph this season.

McFarland has never gone more than 4.1 innings in a game, and has never started a game at the MLB level before. The Yankees lineup has trouble against lefties, but do they have so much trouble that it's better to have McFarland start than Kevin Gausman? We still expect some scrub to issue the domination. Will it be Jayson Nix, Vernon Wells?

Then again, in their place, Yankees fans are also expecting to be dominated by a scrub, and McFarland fits that bill perfectly. The stoppable force meets the movable object.

Nick Markakis - RF Brett Gardner - CF
Manny Machado - 3B Jayson Nix - SS
J.J. Hardy - SS Robinson Cano - 2B
Adam Jones - CF Vernon Wells - DH
Chris Davis - 1B Ichiro Suzuki - RF
Matt Wieters - C Zoilo Almonte - LF
Danny Valencia - DH Chris Stewart - C
Nate McLouth - LF David Adams - 1B
Alexi Casilla - 2B Alberto Gonzalez - 3B