Yankees vs. Orioles Preview: Predictions with Mark Brown of Camden Chat

Keeping the enemy close. - The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Playing the prognosticating game once more with Mark Brown of Camden Chat.

With hopes and dreams of staying alive in the race for the playoffs, the Yankees and Orioles face each other for a three-game set beginning tonight at Yankee Stadium. The winner can go forward feeling like they have a chance at one of the coveted wild card spots, while the loser may have to start thinking about 2014. A lot is on the line in just three games.

Like before every series between these respective teams, I collaborated with Camden Chat's new co-manager, Mark Brown, to get both sides' perspectives on the upcoming games. Mark and I tried our hands once more at predicting some outcomes over the course of the weekend. Mark tells me that I narrowly defeated him in our last contest, so I'm going for the streak here.

Feel free to leave your own answers to the questions below in the comments or pose new questions for everyone, including Mark and I, to answer.

1. Which will be higher: Chris Stewart passed balls vs. Chris Davis home runs?

Tanya: Take the over on both, whatever the over is. Stewart has been pretty bad defensively, but I have hope that he won't play every game of the series like Davis will. Davis gets to face Hughes, so advantage Davis.

Mark: I have watched a few Yankees games this year, and one of the things that is striking is how bad Stewart looks behind the plate. Eight passed balls in 80 starts is a lot, but not more than Davis hits home runs. I will go for Davis as well.

2. Which will be higher: Nick Markakis extra-base hits vs. Alfonso Soriano stolen bases?

Mark: It's an awful stretch of baseball for Markakis, so I would bet on just about anything over him getting an extra-base hit. He went over a month without one, got two in the same game on Sunday and has been dry since. I'll take Soriano.

Tanya: It's hard to argue against Soriano, who has been a revelation since returning to New York. He's not a 40 stolen base threat at this stage of his career but Wieters is Wieters and Markakis has the benefit of facing Hughes. I'll say Markakis.

3. Which will be higher: Alex Rodriguez + Derek Jeter hits vs. Miguel Gonzalez innings pitched?

Tanya: Miguel Gonzalez has the Yankees' number for whatever reason but the lineup as currently constructed is a little deeper than it was the last time he faced them. I expect he'll do well, but not well enough that the two hitters won't accumulate at least one more hit than his innings total in their multiple games.

Mark: In a rare display of honest-to-goodness optimism from me about the Orioles, I'm going to pick Gonzalez. I like him to continue his solid starts against the Yankees with more than six innings and I don't think the Yankees infield tandem will top that.

4. Which will be higher: Jim Johnson hits allowed vs. David Robertson strikeouts?

Mark: I take back the optimism. We're due for a bad Johnson reappearance. On the other hand, we're also due for the Orioles to completely fail to score runs in the late innings of games. Still, I'll go with Johnson.

Tanya: I'd marry Robertson's curveball if I could. Really, that thing is beautiful. I don't believe in Jim Johnson after watching his struggles this season, so I'm taking Robertson.

5. Who will have the highest slugging percentage at the end of the series: Robinson Cano or Adam Jones?

Tanya: I'm afraid of the lingering effects that getting hit on the hand earlier this week will have on Cano in the short-term. For that reason, I'll say Jones.

Mark: Out of the two of us, you're the Yankees expert, so if you're down on Cano, I'm not going to be high on Cano. I'll also go with Jones.

6. Which batter will have the most total bases?

Mark: Davis is due to have another streak where he homers in three straight games. Might as well be this series. Right?

Tanya: Chris Davis in Yankee Stadium against a couple pitchers who have struggled this season or struggled very recently. That is all. Honorable mention to Soriano, though, who is partying like it's 2002 out there.

7. Which starting pitcher will have the longest outing?

Tanya: CC Sabathia has shown signs of life recently. If he's up to his old tricks again, he can hang around in a game with a long leash from Joe Girardi.

Mark: Ivan Nova pitched a complete game against the Orioles in his last time against them. That was the first of seven straight starts where he went at least seven innings. Like an aging general, I'll fight the last war and say Nova.

8. How many total runs will each team score in the series?

Mark: It would be very 2013 Orioles to win one blowout and lose two close games. 14 runs for the O's to 12 runs for the Yankees.

Tanya: The last really ugly series loss for the Yankees sparked a hot streak and I'm hoping the embarrassment in Toronto does that again. I'll say 15 runs for the Yankees and 13 runs for the Orioles.

Thanks, as always, Mark!

What are your predictions for this weekend's series with the Orioles? Do you believe it is truly the last stand for the Yankees?

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