The Yankees are taking on the Orioles once again this weekend after a bit of a bloodbath at Camden Yards last weekend that resulted in a three-game sweep for Baltimore. As always, my friend Mark Brown from Camden Chat was willing to answer some questions about the upcoming series, and this time we decided to try our hand at some prognosticating.
Below are our predictions for the next three games, but we'd love for you to try your hand at answering the same questions in the comments below. This is your chance to call it and I know how you all love doing that. Hopefully we all have more luck than long time listener does with his home run predictions. If you'd like to check out what O's fans have to say, you can head over to Mark's post on Camden Chat and check that out. In the meantime, on to the questions.
Which will be higher this series?
Mark: Cano seems to love hitting against Orioles pitching, but Machado is due after a double-less White Sox series. I say Manny.
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: 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: 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 possibilites and the Yankees may try to be aggressive on the bases, so I'll go with Wieters.
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: 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: 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.
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.
5. Home runs allowed by Orioles pitchers vs. Brett Gardner hits
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.
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.
6. How many Chris Davis home runs this series?
Mark: Davis is good for two. One thanks to an ill-advised Girardi bullpen misfire and one thanks to Phil Hughes.
Tanya: Is infinity too high? Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova pitching against a lefty that leads MLB in homers in Yankee Stadium sounds like disaster. I'll say three and cover my eyes each time he's up.
7. Who will be the batter with most total bases?
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: Robinson Cano! Enters the series on a tear and has six XBH against Orioles starters scheduled to pitch this series.
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.
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.
9. Which starting pitcher will have the longest outing in the series?
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.
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 Phil Hughes ends up with the longest outing because he's pitched well of late. Maybe he'll reward my faith.
10. Number of games Boston loses between Friday and Sunday?
Mark: This one is easy: zero. Just to spite us all. West coast teams are useless.
Tanya: Zero. Angels are worthless.
Thanks, Mark! Remember to leave your own answers to these questions or any other predictions you may have for the series in the comments.
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