In the Christmas edition of the Pinstripe Alley Mailbag, long time listener asked an interesting question regarding the Yankees’ propensity to hit home runs against the Orioles. “The Yankees play the Orioles 19 times next year,” he wrote. “I’m setting the over/under for number of home runs by Yankees batters at 47.5, an average of 2.5 per game. Are you taking the over or the under?”
I tried to give a fair answer, but also one that recognized the shallow depths of the O’s pitching staff.
The safe answer to this question says that we should wait to see how the Orioles’ offseason shakes up. It’s likely that Dan Duquette makes a move or two to bolster the rotation. Then again, that staff needs a lot of help. Their depth chart only runs four starters deep! [EDITOR’S NOTE: This answer came before the Andrew Cashner and Alex Cobb signings.]
Upon further review, sign me up for the over. I cannot wait to watch Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez terrorize Baltimore’s pitching. It should be a great season for disrespecting Flanny.
So far the Yankees and Orioles have matched up six times. The series is split at three wins apiece, which is pretty disappointing considering the state of Baltimore’s team. Worse, however, is the Bombers’ lack of firepower.
The Yankees have hit just five home runs against the Orioles in 2018! Right now, they’re averaging 0.83 home runs per game. That’s well short of matching the 2.5 baseline. If the Yankees want to make that mark, they’re going to have to pick up the pace and start swatting some long balls.
The good news is that 13 games remain in the season series between these two teams. That gives the Yankees plenty of time to hit a barrage of home runs. Baltimore’s pitching staff should also help. Consider the HR/9 rate each of the Orioles starters owns:
Kevin Gausman - 1.67
Dylan Bundy - 2.10
Andrew Cashner - 1.49
Alex Cobb - 1.75
David Hess - 1.93
That should play just fine. Heck, considering how the Yankees are on pace to smash the single-season team home run record, they don’t really need the boost. The lineup could live up to the task against most rotations.
We’ll keep tabs on this as the season processes, particularly at the end of each series with the Orioles. Consider this a new feature at Pinstripe Alley. Stay tuned, as the Yankees next visit Baltimore from July 9 - 11. We’ll see you then!